Zach Wilson will once again start at quarterback for the New York Jets during Sunday's (December 18) game against the Detroit Lions after his replacement, Mike White, was ruled out due to an unspecified rib injury, head coach Robert Saleh announced on Friday (December 16).
Saleh said White "exhausted every measure" to find a doctor that would clear him to play amid the quarterback's comments Thursday (December 15) that he would undoubtedly be ready for Sunday's game.
"That opinion will not change and it's gotten to the point where we could drag this out to Sunday, but this is one of those deals we have to do what's best for the player and protect the player from the player," Saleh said of White's status via ESPN.
Last month, Saleh named White as the Jets' starter for their Week 12 matchup against the Chicago Bears and stressed that the team wasn't giving up on Wilson, who was selected No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
"So the big thing I want to make sure I address on this one, just want to make sure you guys all listen to this very carefully, please, Zach's career here's not over," Saleh told reporters. "I know that's going to be the narrative, I know that's what everybody wants to shout out and that's not even close to the case.
"The intent, the full intent, is to make sure Zach gets back on the football field at some point this year. When that is, I'll make that decision, I'm going to take it day to day.
"The biggest thing with Zach, and it's the same things that we've talked about, is the young man needs a reset. His decision making's been fine, his practice habits, all that stuff, has been fine but there's some basic fundamental things that've gotten really out of whack for him and this is just an opportunity to sit back, focus on those things, find a way to reconnect to all the different things that we fell in love with during the draft process and it's something that I feel like he's going to be able to do.
"I think to ask him to do all of those things while preparing for a game is unfair but at the same time it's something just talking with Zach that we're all excited to attack and this is, like I said, is it a small step back? Absolutely, for him. But do I think it's going to be a great leap forward when he does get a chance to reset himself? Absolutely."
White led the Jets to a 31-10 win against the Bears with a 315-yard, three-touchdown performance, but hasn't thrown a touchdown pass in the team's last two games, both of which were losses to the Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills.
Wilson has struggled during his first two seasons, which included throwing for 77 yards on 9 of 22 passing (40.9 completion percentage) during his last start, a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots on November 20.
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