FLORHAM PARK, NJ — New York Jets coach Robert Saleh has backed out of his commitment to Zach Wilson and is likely to trade quarterbacks this week.
Three weeks after Wilson was ruled out for the rest of the season without an injury, Saleh on Monday remained silent on whether the 2021 second-round pick would start Sunday against the Chicago Bears.
It marked the first sign of doubt from the organization about Wilson’s status as the No. 1 quarterback.
“We will keep everything on the table for the next two days,” Saleh said.
Asked if he was ready to name Wilson as this week’s starter, he said, “Not right now, not until we’ve figured it all out.”
Wilson’s coaches informed him of his condition, leaving him in limbo.
Mike White is next on the bench, followed by Joe Flacco, who started the first three games as Wilson recovers from a preseason knee injury. Saleh did not rule out potential replacements for either quarterback.
Wilson is off to a 5-2 start, but has struggled in two of his last three games, both losses to the New England Patriots. He completed just 9 of 22 passes for 77 yards in Sunday’s 10-3 loss. He later took a bit of responsibility for his comments that went viral. Asked if he had let his guard down, Wilson simply replied, “No. No.”
Sources said some defensive players were upset by the remark.
Saleh Wilson was clearly not happy with his post-match press conference.
“Is it a mistake? Of course,” Saleh said. “Is he something to get better at? Absolutely.”
He said Wilson needs to understand that it’s “our responsibility to take the bullet and own it,” adding, “I don’t think it shows how he feels about his team or his team.”
Wilson’s poor performance was discussed at Monday’s team meeting, the source said. Saleh said that every performance, good or bad, is mentioned in team meetings.
At 6-4, the Jets are still in the playoff hunt, but they aren’t getting much production from Wilson. He has just four touchdown passes, one less than Flacco, who hasn’t played since Week 3.
Saleh emphasized that every position will be evaluated, not just point guard.
“When you insult 100 yards [actually, 103]I don’t care how good New England is, they’re good — that’s not acceptable,” Saleh said. “That’s not NFL football.”
After the game, an emotional Saleh said the second-half offensive performance (2 total yards) was “dogged.” Saleh announced Monday that he has no plans to replace offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.
Wilson drew a lot of criticism after throwing three interceptions against the Patriots on Oct. 30, but he responded in style with a solid performance to upset the Buffalo Bills.
But Sunday’s game was a big step back. Receivers Garrett Wilson and Denzel Mims were upset during the game, with Garrett Wilson calling the offense “sorry” to reporters without mentioning Zach Wilson by name.
“I think we’ve got a championship-quality defense and really good offensive players,” Saleh said. “From a scheme standpoint, I think we’re right there with everybody else, but I’m just trying to take stock to see how we’re going to iron out that discrepancy.”
Wilson ranks 23rd in total QBR (45.2) and 34th among 34 passers (55.6). All three players expressed their confidence in Wilson during a press conference Monday. Asked about his confidence level in Wilson, quarterback Laken Tomlinson said, “High. He’s our quarterback. What do you mean?”