NFL

Jets QB Zach Wilson returns to the starting line up

Rookie QB Zach Wilson returns to the line up for the New York Jets after missing four games, but fellow QBs Mike White and Joe Flacco are out.

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Jets QB Zach Wilson returns to the starting line up

The Jets are playing a bit of 'musical chairs' at the moment as their starter returns but his two backups are now out.

Jets' Zach Wilson is back from injury

Having missed four games due to a sprained knee, Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson is back in action. Wilson is set to start against the Houston Texans on Sunday coming according to coach Robert Saleh, who announced the news on Wednesday. The good news, however, has been curtailed by the fact that it was also announced that quarterback Mike White has tested positive for covid-19. Worse still, fellow QB Joe Flacco was determined to have been in close contact with White and as such has also been placed on the covid-19 list. For the purpose of cover Josh Johnson has been promoted from the practice squad to act as backup.

Three QBs in three games for the Jets

As Wilson returns to the line up, he will in fact be the third different starting QB in as many games. White was first to replace him, but was eventually put on the bench in favor of the veteran Flacco. The latter was most recently the starter in New York's 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. According to reports the decision to start Wilson, though he had just been given the medical green light on Monday, was not based on the status of White and Flacco.

Wilson's absence forced the Jets to make tough choices

It was week 7 when Zach Wilson was sidelined with a second-degree sprain of his right posterior cruciate ligament after some heavy hits. Initially he was expected to miss two weeks according to the Jets. In the end it was four weeks, during which time a great deal happened. As Wilson recovered, Mike White was called upon by the Jets and he did more than answer. In his first career start, White put in a performance for the ages with both teammates and fans alike gushing after he passed for 405 yards in massive upset against the Cincinnati Bengals. Adding to the speculation after White's performance was Jets' coach Robert who notably refused to guarantee that Wilson would return to his starting spot once he had recovered.

White's moment, however, was short lived. In week 10 he registered four interceptions and with that Saleh's hand was forced. Facing Miami, the decision was made to start Flacco over White. There was of course immediate criticism even more so considering that the Jets lost to the Dolphins. It must be noted, however that Flacco's performance as an individual was actually decent with 291 yards passing and two touchdowns.

Wilson's progress and the question of vaccination status

In the last two weeks it is understood that Wilson participated in training but on a limited basis. "We're going to make sure we protect this young man," Saleh said Monday. "When he's fully healthy and he feels like there's no limitations with his ability to play where he's not thinking about the knee, we'll get him back out there." As for the other two quarterbacks, it has been reported that Flacco - who was acquired in an Oct. 25 trade with the Eagles to cover Wilson - said last week that he's unvaccinated. That means that according to NFL protocols, he must test negative for five days before he can be permitted to return to his team. It remains unclear as to whether the Jets knew his vaccination status before making the trade for a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Eagles.

In the case of White, his vaccination status remains unknown. If he's vaccinated, he can return after two negative tests that must be a minimum of 24 hours apart. Either way, the Jets have promoted Josh Johnson to back up QB and that's how things stand ahead of Sunday's game.