Jets move Wilson up to No. 2 QB, still expect White to start

Dec 13, 2022, 6:44 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2022, 2:33 pm
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) reacts against the Chicago Bears during an NFL football g...

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) reacts against the Chicago Bears during an NFL football game, Nov. 27, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. Wilson is moving up on the New York Jets' quarterback depth chart this week. Coach Robert Saleh announced Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 the benched former starter is being promoted from No. 3 to the backup behind current starter Mike White, who's dealing with a rib injury but is expected to make his fourth straight start Sunday against the Detroit Lions. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

              New York Jets quarterback Mike White helps a student from Brooklyn Community Services' Jets Academy shop for a bicycle at Dick's Sporting Goods in East Hanover, N.J., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. The Jets hosted a holiday shopping spree for 25 students from Brooklyn Community Services' Jets Academy. (AP Photo/Dennis Waszak Jr.)
            
              New York Jets quarterback Mike White (5) walks to the locker room during the second half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Orchard Park, N.Y. As a precaution, Jets head coach Robert Saleh said White was sent to the hospital after the game to be evaluated. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
            
              New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) reacts against the Chicago Bears during an NFL football game, Nov. 27, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. Wilson is moving up on the New York Jets' quarterback depth chart this week. Coach Robert Saleh announced Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022 the benched former starter is being promoted from No. 3 to the backup behind current starter Mike White, who's dealing with a rib injury but is expected to make his fourth straight start Sunday against the Detroit Lions. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Zach Wilson is moving up on the New York Jets’ quarterback depth chart this week.

Coach Robert Saleh announced Wednesday the benched former starter is being promoted from No. 3 to the backup behind Mike White, who is dealing with a rib injury but is expected to make his fourth straight start on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

“Zach’s been doing a great job,” Saleh said. “He has been deliberate in his approach over the last three weeks. He’s been holding himself accountable with regards to how he wants to attack practice, how he’s been performing in practice going against our defense — which I think is a pretty good defense to go against — and working on all the different things we’ve been asking him to accomplish.”

Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, said he was excited by the promotion and acknowledged the biggest challenge for him the past several weeks was “finding the fun in football” again.

“I love this game and it definitely wasn’t lost,” he said. “But I think you guys felt the frustrations over some of those rough games.”

Wilson said he’s ready to take the field again, and hopes to this season — “but that’s not up to me.”

Entering this year, the focus for the Jets was Wilson’s continued progress and development as their quarterback of the present — and future. And he still thinks he can be.

“Yeah, I definitely believe in myself,” Wilson said. “Of course, I have all the confidence in the world, and I think that’s how it should be. But you’ve got to be able to prove that. That goes back to just attacking every single day.”

Wilson missed the first three games while recovering from a knee injury. He started the next seven and the Jets went 5-2 in those games, but his play was mostly shaky. Wilson had four touchdown passes and five interceptions and had a 55.6 completion percentage as New York’s offense struggled to produce points.

After Wilson went just 9 of 22 for 77 yards in a 10-3 loss at New England in Week 11, the Jets elevated White to starter.

Meanwhile, Wilson was inactive the last three games, not even dressed in uniform on the sideline.

“I mean, it’s frustrating and you would like to be out there,” Wilson said. “But you’ve got to control what you can control. Right now, it’s how can I just do everything I can to put myself in the best position to help this organization and this team?”

Under White, the Jets (7-6) are 1-2 but have been better offensively as they try to make a playoff push and end an 11-year playoff drought — the longest active skid in the NFL.

White was limited at practice Wednesday after twice being forced out of New York’s 20-12 loss at Buffalo last Sunday after taking big hits to his midsection. He returned both times but was sent to the hospital after the game to be examined further.

White told The Associated Press at a charity event Tuesday night his “ribs are good” and was waiting to get clearance from doctors.

“We’re still working as if he’s playing this week,” Saleh said, adding that Wilson’s promotion was just “a coincidence” in timing.

Joe Flacco, who started the first three games this season, will be the No. 3 quarterback.

The Jets wanted Wilson to sit as part of a mental and physical “reset” to focus on fundamentals such as extending the pocket, moving the football and getting his footwork corrected.

“He’s been good,” Saleh said. “Obviously, it’s not over. Continue working and understanding you’re the next man up.”

Saleh reiterated his stance that the plan is to have Wilson back on the field and playing again at some point.

“I’m still in that same mindset, guys, with regards to Zach,” the coach said. “He’s a very talented young man — very talented young man. We’re in the business of developing guys and I’ve said it before: This is Mike White’s opportunity and he’s attacking the heck out of the opportunity and is doing a great job with it.

“But at the same time, we’ve still got to make sure we’re doing everything we can to develop Zach to the spot we know he’s capable of getting to.”

NOTES: DL Quinnen Williams (calf), DL John Franklin-Myers (flu), CB Brandin Echols (quadriceps), WR Corey Davis (concussion protocol) and S Will Parks (not injury related) didn’t practice Wednesday. Saleh said Williams, who has a career-high 11 sacks, remains “50-50” to play. … OTs George Fant (knee) and Duane Brown (shoulder) were limited, as was DE Micheal Clemons (knee). … The Jets signed OL Eric Smith to the practice squad. It’s the third stint with New York for Smith, who was most recently with Tennessee.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives as Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley (11) defends during the f...
Associated Press

Young scores 27 to lead Hawks past Jazz, 115-108

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trae Young had 27 points and six assists to lead the Atlanta Hawks to a 115-108 victory over the Utah Jazz on Friday night. De’Andre Hunter scored 26 points for the Hawks. Onyeka Okongwu had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray added 13 points and eight assists. Atlanta […]
1 day ago
Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots a three point basket as Houston Rockets forward Jae...
Associated Press

VanVleet has 32 as Raptors get 117-111 win over Rockets

HOUSTON (AP) — Fred VanVleet scored 32 points, Gary Trent Jr. added 29 and the Toronto Raptors snapped a two-game skid with a 117-111 win over the Houston Rockets on Friday night. The Raptors took a commanding lead in the third quarter and were up by double-digits for most of the fourth. But five straight […]
1 day ago
Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons (1) shoots against Washington Wizards guard Monte Morr...
Associated Press

Blazers rally from 20 down to end Wizards’ win streak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Anfernee Simons scored 20 of his 33 points in the third quarter and the Portland Trail Blazers erased a 20-point deficit, snapping Washington’s six-game winning streak Friday night with a 124-116 victory over the Wizards. Simons made six of Portland’s nine 3-pointers in the third, and the Trail Blazers finally caught and […]
1 day ago
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is fouled as he drives to the basket against San Antonio...
Associated Press

Embiid’s double-double keys 76ers as Spurs drop 8th straight

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Joel Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers beat San Antonio 137-125 on Friday night, sending the scuffling Spurs to their eighth straight loss. Tyrese Maxey had 25 points and James Harden added 16 for Philadelphia, which has the third-best record in the Eastern Conference. “Tonight was […]
1 day ago
A scrum breaks out between Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic players during the second half ...
Associated Press

Fight between Magic, Timberwolves leads to 5 players ejected

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A fight broke out and punches were thrown during the game between the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night. Five players were ejected following the brawl, which started in front of the Orlando bench late in the third quarter. Minnesota guard Austin Rivers and Magic center Mo Bamba were the […]
1 day ago
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) stands on the ice during the NHL All Star Skills Showcase, F...
Associated Press

NHL takes skills showcase outside, McDavid shines inside

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Sidney Crosby got dunked into a tank of water, Nick Suzuki holed a golf ball with a hockey stick and the NHL made hockey an outdoor sport for its skills showcase in South Florida. Two new events outside in the sun highlighted the league’s annual skills competition at All-Star Weekend, with […]
1 day ago
Jets move Wilson up to No. 2 QB, still expect White to start