Jets Backtrack QB Zach Wilson: Mike White Not Medically Cleared

The New York Jets made an unexpected quarterback change Friday, announcing that Mike White will miss Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions and that former starter Zach Wilson will return.

Mike White, who told reporters Friday that he had rib fractures, was not cleared for contact by team doctors, according to coach Robert Saleh. According to Saleh, White sought but did not receive clearance from outside doctors.

Saleh said the quarterback drained every part in attempting to search for a doctor to give him the green signal. He added that the judgment will not change and it’s understood that we could pull this out by Sunday. But this is one of those compromises we have to make which is good for the player and secures the player from the player.

In revealing the severity of the injury for the first time, Mike White stated that he sought the approval of 10 doctors and that a post-game CT scan revealed the collapsed ribs.

Mike White said If I get in the inaccurate spot, it could give rise to some more destruction.

Zach Wilson

On Sunday the damage took place crumbling hit to the midsection by a linebacker of the Buffalo Bills Matt Milano during the 20-12 loss to The New York Jets. Mike White went to the dressing room for an X-ray and was cleaned by the team of doctors to arrive. He completed the game before coming across a preventative CT scan at a Buffalo-area hospital and then going back home with the team. 

Beyond Sunday, the Jets have not announced their quarterback plans. White could return against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, but Saleh admitted it would be a “challenge” on such a short week.

White stated that he will have additional scans next week.

Saleh never said that White needed to be cleared for contact when he said on Wednesday that the Jets (7-6) were “still training as if he’s playing this week.” Keeping the Lions (6-7) in the dark for as long as possible may have included some trickery.

“He’s not blowing smoke,” Saleh said. “He is in good spirits. He can throw a ball quite well. He’s not in any discomfort. It’s a contact problem. He’d be out there playing 7-on-7 if it was available. But it isn’t.”

For the first time since 2015, the Jets will turn to Zach Wilson, who has spent the previous three games as the third-string/inactive quarterback. He stated that he will not play tentatively because he is concerned about his job security.

“Isn’t it true that the worst has already happened to me?” Wilson stated. “I’m just going to go out there and have a good time.”

A win over the Lions would give the Jets a 34% chance of making the playoffs, according to ESPN Analytics. With a loss, their chances would fall to 14%.

In White’s three starts, the Jets had rallied around him. They went 1-2 and averaged only 22 points per game, but he passed for 952 yards and involved every player. Even though Saleh stated that he intended to play Wilson again, he almost certainly would have remained the starter for the rest of the season – or as long as the Jets remained in contention.

There is no other option now.

“We are very confident in Zach’s preparation as the first-string quarterback,” Saleh said, adding that Wilson has received “a normal workload” for a starter in practice and that he knew at the start of the week that Wilson would have to start.

Mike White

Wilson has won five of his seven starts, but he has only four touchdown passes, an NFL-low 56% completion rate, and only 183 passing yards per game. In Nov. After the game, he sparked outrage by refusing to accept responsibility for poor offensive performance. Wilson apologized in front of the team three days later, visibly moved.

The Jets described Wilson’s benching as a “reset,” an opportunity for Wilson to hone his fundamentals without the pressure of preparing for an opponent.

After Wednesday’s promotion to No. 2, Wilson remarked, “I absolutely believe in myself. “Of course, I have all the confidence in the world — I believe that is how it should be — but you must be able to prove it.”

Quinnen Williams (calf) missed practice for the third day in a row, but the Jets did not declare him out, hoping he can play.

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