Jets HC Robert Saleh Addresses Reports On Zach Wilson’s Willingness To Play

Dec 4, 2023, 2:38 PM

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SALT LAKE CITYNew York Jets head coach Robert Saleh answered questions about Zach Wilson‘s playing status following reports that said the former BYU quarterback was “reluctant” to start again for the team.

Zach Wilson returning as QB1 for the Jets?

On Monday, December 4, Saleh talked to the media following the Jets’ fourth straight loss. Wilson has been inactive for New York’s last two games.

Reports on Wilson’s willingness to return to starting role

Hours before the head coach’s press conference, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini and Zack Rosenblatt reported that the Jets “want to make a switch” with their starting quarterback after making Tim Boyle the team’s QB1 in the past two contests.

Russini and Rosenblatt also reported that the Jets were “leaning” towards a return to Wilson as their starting quarterback but the former BYU star was hesitant about a return to the role.

“The Jets want to make a switch at QB. The team is leaning towards Zach Wilson to take over, but he is reluctant to stepping back in, sources tell @zackBlatt and me,” Russini posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The team is hoping he changes his mind as they continue to discuss the next steps,” Rosenblatt added.

In addition to Russini and Rosenblatt’s report, The Athletic’s Jeff Howe shared that Wilson “would agree” to start if he were “asked directly by the Jets.”

“If Zach Wilson were asked directly by the Jets to start, he would agree to that, a source familiar with Wilson’s thinking said,” Howe posted on X.

Robert Saleh on Zach Wilson and the Jets’ starting QB for Week 14

During his press conference, Saleh said that he hasn’t made a decision on which quarterback the team will start against the Houston Texans on December 10.

The third-year head coach also answered questions about Wilson’s status following the reports of the quarterback’s desire to start for the Jets.

Saleh said that he spoke with Wilson 30 minutes before the press conference and had a good conversation with the Corner Canyon product.

“If he was reluctant to play, he wouldn’t be here,” Saleh said of Wilson. “The young man wants the ball. He wants to start and he believes he’s the best quarterback in the room, and the best quarterback for this team.”

During Saleh’s press conference, Russini said that Wilson and Aaron Rodgers had a conversation about the situation.

“Aaron Rodgers reached out to Zach Wilson in an effort to advise him to resume the starter role, but at the time, Wilson remained apprehensive due to perceived injury risk, per sources.” Russini posted on social media.

“Timeline of events we are reporting: Zach Wilson made clear to multiple members of the organization — players, staff, coaches — of his apprehension to start due to perceived injury risk, per sources. The conversations with Rodgers came as a result of Wilson’s shared sentiments with others,” Russini added.

After Wilson was benched during New York’s 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills on November 19, Boyle has started the past two weeks and put up the following stats: 48/77 passing (62.3 percent) for 360 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions.

This season, Wilson has thrown for 1,944 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions with a 59.2 percent completion rate. He’s also run the ball 33 times for 199 yards.

New York has a 3-6 record with Wilson as their starting quarterback this season.

The Jets currently own a 4-8 record and are nearing elimination from a playoff berth.

New York’s next game is at home against the Texans on Sunday, December 10 at 11 a.m. (MT). The game will be broadcast on CBS and NFL Sunday Ticket.

About Zach Wilson

Before his time in the NFL, the Corner Canyon High School product had a standout career at BYU. Wilson helped the Cougars to an 11-1 record during his final season in Provo.

Following his college career, the Jets selected Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

 

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During the quarterback’s rookie season, Wilson missed four games due to a knee injury. He finished the year throwing for 2,334 yards, nine touchdowns, and 11 interceptions with a 55.6 completion rate.

Before his second season, the former BYU star underwent surgery after suffering a knee injury in New York’s preseason opener.

Without Wilson, the Jets opened the 2022 season with a 1-2 record. After returning, the Jets posted a 5-2 record before Wilson was benched for the first time. After a month on the sidelines, Wilson returned to action for a couple of contests before he was benched again.

Last season, the Jets posted a 7-10 record and missed the NFL Playoffs.

Wilson finished the 2022 season having thrown for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions with a 54.5 percent completion rate. He has a rating of 72.9 and a QBR of 37.1. The Jets missed the playoffs with a 7-10 record.

During his first two seasons in the league, Wilson passed for 4,022 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions. He also ran for 287 yards and five touchdowns.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Threads (@kyleirelandksl), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl). and X (@kyleireland).

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Jets HC Robert Saleh Addresses Reports On Zach Wilson’s Willingness To Play