Zach Wilson, NY Jets, Start, Mike White
Zach Wilson, New York Jets, Getty Images

Robert Saleh has confirmed that Mike White was not cleared for contact after last week’s siege in Buffalo

New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh announced on Friday that quarterback Mike White will not play in Sunday’s crucial interconference showdown against the Detroit Lions (1 p.m. ET, CBS). This development puts former starter Zach Wilson back into the top spot on the passing depth chart and after 2021’s second overall pick did not dress over the past three games.

Saleh, who referred to White as “an absolute warrior” that “exhausted every option every measure he possibly (could)” in terms of playing against Detroit, said that Sunday’s game could be “a great opportunity” for Wilson, who was removed from the top quarterback spot after seven games, the last of which was a sluggish 10-3 loss bereft of offensive fireworks against the New England Patriots. Wilson did not dress in any of the past three games, as the White understudy duties were instead passed on to Joe Flacco.

The Jets (7-6) are 5-2 in games started by Wilson this season despite his statistical shortcomings. Wilson has accumulated a 72.6 passer rating this season, throwing four touchdowns and five interceptions. A preseason injury postponed the start of Wilson’s sophomore campaign.

Saleh believed that the fact that the Jets won with Wilson under center should not be discounted, nor should his prior big game experience, noting that Wilson once went a perfect 18-for-18 in a collegiate bowl game (a 49-18 win over Western Michigan in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl).

White took several big hits in the Jets’ 20-12 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday and briefly left the game while Flacco took over. He was taken to a local hospital for x-rays, which “checked out fine” according to Saleh. While was cleared for practice but Saleh said that Jets doctors would not clear him for contact, a development Saleh referred to as “rightful.”

“It’s gotten to the point where we could drag this out to Sunday,” Saleh said. “But this is one of those deals where we got to do what’s best for the player and protect the player from the player. So he’s been cleared for practice, but he has not been cleared for contact.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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Geoff Magliocchetti is a veteran football writer with years of credentialed experience with the Jets and Giants. Email: geoffmags90@gmail.com
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Peter Buell
Peter Buell
1 month ago

I wonder if this is BS to get Wilson back in the lineup. I’m not being paranoid because Saleh is speaking like a fan when talking about the record of the team when Zach Wilson starts.
“It’s the things that don’t show up in the boxscore”
Cmon Rob…what chance do we have with Zack going against a too offense?

SmokeEater26
SmokeEater26
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Buell

Yeah it makes no fucking sense at all. These are the very same doctor’s who cleared him to return and finish the game last week. All additional medical tests they ran on him “Checked out fine” He’s been practicing all week and says he feels perfectly fine and is ready to play. If he doesn’t get the QB1 job back for the Jacksonville game my head’s gonna explode. He’s done NOTHING to lose the job he’s ok outplayed Wilson by a long shot it’s not even up for debate whatsoever. And the rest of the team clearly likes White way more than Wilson. Mike White is the QB we need to invest our future in. If Wilson undeservedly gets the QB1 job back we’re not going to the playoffs. And it’s going to send a really shitty message to the rest of the team if White gets the QB1 job taken away from him. White is no doubt the better QB. Wilson isn’t a franchise QB capable of leading a team to and winning a Superbowl. And I think all of us Jets fans know that.