Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Interview, Mike White, Zach Wilson
Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

Robert Saleh gives non-committal answer about Zach Wilson’s future as New York Jets’ starter

It’s not a season of New York Jets football without some quarterback controversy – and this is one of the most (if not the most) intriguing in-season debates that the team has hosted at the position in a long, long time.

When Zach Wilson yielded the starting quarterback job to Mike White after going down with a PCL injury that was given a 2-to-4 week recovery timetable, most assumed that White would have an uneventful run in the starting lineup before handing the keys back to Wilson with no drama whatsoever.

But nobody considered the possibility that White might do what he ended up doing.

On Halloween, White put forth the best passing-yardage performance by a Jets quarterback in 21 years, dropping 405 yards and three touchdowns on the AFC’s top-seeded Bengals in a 34-31 comeback victory. He captained a well-oiled offense that picked up 32 total first downs, which is tied for the third-best single-game total in franchise history.

Now, head coach Robert Saleh is being bombarded with questions about Wilson’s job security upon returning.

Saleh was asked on Monday to “clarify (his) stance” on what the team’s plans are for when Wilson returns, followed up by the straight-up question of “if (Zach Wilson) is the starting quarterback when he is healthy.”

His answers to those questions were non-committal.

“The reality is Mike played a really good game, we got a really short turnaround, we got to get ourselves going … The focus is on this moment,” Saleh said.

“Zach getting healthy is always at the forefront of our mind, but at the same time … it’s a hypothetical. You just take the days as they come … That would be the best thing I can answer. If everything goes according to plan and Zach comes back and he’s healthy, we’ll address it when we cross that bridge.”

The Jets decided not to place Wilson on injured reserve, which would have kept him out for a minimum of three games. That decision likely means the Jets believe he can return in Week 10 when the Jets host the Buffalo Bills, halting his absence at two games.

Saleh confirmed as much on Monday, stating that he and the team “feel really, really good” about Wilson’s odds of being able to practice during the week ahead of the battle with Buffalo.

Saleh already confirmed on Sunday that White will start for the Jets in their upcoming Thursday night game against the Colts. Joe Flacco is expected to back him up.

The Jets will have an interesting decision to make if White puts forth another strong performance this Thursday.

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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