It’s sounding as if Mike White will be the Jets’ starting quarterback Sunday against the Bills.
Robert Saleh said Zach Wilson would start Sunday if he were fully healthy, but he added that the Jets are "waiting on some more updates" on the rookie. He suffered a sprained right PCL on Oct. 24 against the Patriots, and the Jets are going to take a conservative approach with him.
"We’ll see how he is," Saleh said. "But we’re not in any hurry to rush him back at the same point because of the fact that this is a two-to-four-week injury. He’s going into Week 3 and there’s a couple of hurdles he has to pass yet."
He added: "If he’s not fully healthy, it’d be irresponsible for us to throw him out there."
Saleh said he hopes White — who injured his right forearm in Thursday’s loss to the Colts — and Wilson will be full participants in practice on Wednesday. The decision of who will start against the Bills will be determined before the Jets take the field for practice, and Saleh said he will announce it.
"We’ll have a decision on Wednesday," he said. "Once we get all the information, whoever’s starting is going to get all the reps. He has to get those reps. There’s also show-team reps, there’s walk-through reps. There’s a lot of reps to go around. At the same time, when the time comes, it’s about getting ready to play a football game."
White certainly has earned the right to hold on to the starting job for at least one more game. There’s no guarantee that he will relinquish it, either.
If he continues to play well and leads the Jets (2-6) to a win over AFC East rival Buffalo (5-3), it will be difficult to go right back to Wilson.
The Jets haven’t lost any faith in Wilson, who has struggled in his first season in the NFL. They believe in him and that he eventually will lead them to the playoffs. But they also think Wilson is benefiting from watching someone else run the offense and run it well.
White — a former fifth-round pick of the Cowboys and the Jets’ practice team quarterback the previous two seasons — has thrown five touchdown passes in less than eight quarters. Wilson, the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, has four touchdown passes in 187 more offensive snaps.
In his first NFL start, White threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns and led the Jets to a comeback victory over the Bengals in Week 8. He played only two series Thursday against the Colts because of the injury to his throwing arm, leaving the game after firing a touchdown pass that tied it at 7.
The Jets fell behind 42-10 in a 45-30 loss, but it might have gone differently if White had remained in the game. The Jets’ defense was what derailed them that night.
"One of the great things in this league is you do get these guys who sometimes come out of nowhere," Saleh said. "They get their opportunity and they showcase who they are and show that they belong. So I’ve got a great appreciation for what Mike is going through and I have a lot of respect for his opportunity."
Saleh then implored the media to try to appreciate White’s story and what he’s been able to accomplish.
"It would be really cool if you guys could take a moment and just kind of appreciate what Mike’s going through as an individual quarterback and the opportunity he’s been presented with and the heck of a job that he’s done," Saleh said.
"Does it mean anything for the future? I don’t know. I just know as it goes day to day and game to game, I think it’s really cool that Mike’s been able to take advantage of this opportunity. Let’s just see how he does."