FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Robert Saleh adamantly defended the Jets’ decision to acquire unvaccinated quarterback Joe Flacco, who is expected to miss Sunday’s game because he’s on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
The Jets acquired Flacco from Philadelphia for a sixth-round pick late last month after Zach Wilson sprained his right knee. Saleh said there was "no risk" and it was "a no brainer," even though Flacco likely will be inactive for the third time since the deal was done. He’s a close contact to Mike White, who tested positive for COVID.
"I’ll stand by this forever, when someone offers a sixth-round pick for a player of Joe’s caliber, to me there is no risk," Saleh said. "You’re playing with house money."
Flacco was unavailable the first two games after the trade because he needed to get familiar with the offense. He served as the backup two weeks ago and started last Sunday against Miami. Flacco threw for 291 yards and two touchdowns in a loss. Flacco’s performance was "worth its weight in gold," according to Saleh.
"I know we look at draft capital," Saleh said. "But that was an easy decision in terms of here’s a proven quarterback, a Super Bowl quarterback, a guy who can settle an offense if he needs to step in there which he proved on Sunday.
"He did a phenomenal job against Miami’s pressure system. That itself was worth its weight in gold. As far as the draft capital, the thinking was that was a no-brainer. A sixth-round pick is not hard to recoup."
Saleh is "leaving the door open" for Flacco being able to play this week. But the Jets are planning for Josh Johnson, who is being elevated from the practice squad, to be Wilson’s backup Sunday against the Texans.
As an unvaccinated close contact, Flacco has to test negative five times from time of contact before he can rejoin the Jets. Saturday would be the earliest that he could return to the facility. Flacco would then have to test negative Sunday to be cleared to play. It’s possible that he could fly to Houston on Sunday.
Saleh was asked who the emergency quarterback would be if anything happens to Wilson and Johnson. He said, "I’ll keep our secret quarterback a secret." Receiver Jeff Smith is an option since he played quarterback at Boston College.
Denzel Mims, who missed the past two games after testing positive for COVID-19, was back at the Jets’ practice facility. But he’s still not cleared to practice. The second-year receiver has to go through some protocols and conditioning testing before he can get on the field.
Receiver Corey Davis popped up on the injury report as limited with a groin issue. It must have happened in practice … The Jets signed fullback Nick Bawden to the active roster and restored linebacker LaRoy Reynolds to the practice squad ... James Morgan is back with the Jets. They signed Morgan, a fourth-round pick last year, to the practice squad and released defensive back Natrell Jamerson..