By the time Week 12 rolls through, the Jets and the Bears could be starting different quarterbacks.
Chicago signal-caller Justin Fields suffered a left shoulder injury during the team’s loss to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11. The severity of the injury is unknown as of Monday, but puts a damper on the second-year QB’s in-season turnaround.
The offense deserved its fair share of blame for only accumulating two yards in the second half, but Zach Wilson didn’t seem interested in taking responsibility for the loss. His teammate and rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson wasn’t shy about how the offense performed, and Robert Saleh was blunt in his postgame comments.
Monday’s news conference for the Jets head coach was surprisingly delayed, and Saleh delivered a message that should concern Wilson.
“Not right now, not until I’m done evaluating everything,” Saleh told reporters when asked if he’s committing to Wilson as the team’s starter this Sunday, per team-provided video. “I’ve got to be able to sit back — I think we all have got to be able to sit back and just look at what’s best for this organization and this team. It’s not all about the quarterback. I want to be very, very clear. It’s not all about the quarterback. There’s a lot of things that we can do better as coaches, a lot of things that the O-line needs to do better, receivers, running backs, tight ends, play-caller, defense, everybody, special teams. I get it when everyone looks at the quarterback and just wants to throw everything on him. It’s not always about the quarterback. …”
The comments were surprising as Saleh has continuously defended his quarterback from criticism and stood firm on Wilson’s status on the team. But it’s not hard to see why New York would consider a change.
The Jets offense has not matched its 6-4 record. New York ranks 28th in expected points added and 29th in dropback EPA. The only area where the Jets are average is the run game, ranking 14th in EPA.
Many were not happy with Wilson’s lack of accountability, but Saleh believes his quarterback’s comments were not indicative of who he is as a leader on the team and doesn’t believe he has lost the locker room as some may have believed.
The second-year quarterback has been informed on his murky status, but Saleh didn’t specify whether it would be Mike White or Joe Flacco starting against the Bears in Week 12.