Zach Wilson may have thrown his final pass in a Jets uniform.
The Jets have benched him and will start Tim Boyle on Friday against Miami at MetLife Stadium.
A quarterback change seemed inevitable after Wilson was removed and replaced by Boyle in Sunday’s 32-6 loss to the Bills.
“Just to give him an opportunity,” Robert Saleh said of his decision to go with Boyle. “Different style of quarterback, so really just to give him an opportunity to see if we can do something with the offense.”
Wilson has had a rough time, not just this season but since the Jets drafted him with the second overall pick in 2021. This is the third time in the past 13 months that he has lost his starting job.
It’s possible that Wilson will not play again this season or ever again for the Jets. Saleh said they didn’t consider releasing him, but he would not address the quarterback’s future with the team.
“We’ll deal with it in the offseason,” Saleh said. “Right now, it’s really about Miami.”
Boyle, 29, will start for only the fourth time and first in nearly two years. The Jets also will elevate Trevor Siemian from the practice squad for Friday’s game. Siemian will be the immediate backup and will be next in line if things don’t go well for Boyle. Wilson also will be active.
The plan was for Wilson to be the backup this season, watch Aaron Rodgers and learn from him. That changed when Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon on the Jets’ fourth offensive snap.
Wilson was thrust back into the starting role, and it’s been a repeat of last season. The Jets’ defense has been mostly good, but the offense hasn’t been able to function with Wilson running it. The Jets are 4-6, have lost three straight and have scored one touchdown in the last 15-plus quarters.
Wilson, who completed 7 of 15 passes for 81 yards, was pulled with the Jets down 29-6 late in the third quarter Sunday. He has thrown only six touchdown passes and led only nine touchdown drives this season.
The Jets’ lone touchdown Sunday just before the half was aided greatly by a fake punt to convert a fourth down and a roughing-the-passer penalty. If the Jets had not scored there, Boyle might have entered the game to start the third quarter.
After the game, Wilson said he was “frustrated” about being taken out “but I get it.”
Wilson is 12-20 as an NFL quarterback with 21 touchdown passes and 25 interceptions. Saleh said “a series of unfortunate events” have led to him not becoming the franchise quarterback the Jets hoped he would be.
They stuck with Wilson and made a number of personnel changes on offense for Sunday’s game — and got worse.
“It’s not all him, but there are things he needs to be better at,” Saleh said. “This is just another situation to see if we can get another guy, another opportunity, see if something can change.”
Boyle, who has played for the Packers, Bears and Lions, didn’t light it up on Sunday. He was 7-for-14 for 33 yards and one interception. But the Jets needed to let someone else try to move an offense that has totaled 37 points in the last four games.
They turned to someone who is comfortable in this offense. Boyle spent two seasons backing up Rodgers for Green Bay in 2019 and 2020.
“The main thing that stuck out with Tim was his confidence in the huddle,” tight end Tyler Conklin said. “He came into the huddle and commanded the huddle really well. He was decisive, got the ball out of his hand quick.”
Boyle’s last start was on Jan. 2, 2022, for Detroit. He started three games during the 2021 season and went 0-3 with 526 passing yards, three touchdown passes and six interceptions. In 18 games overall, he has thrown for 607 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions.
The Jets are Boyle’s team for the time being, but Saleh still showed Wilson some support.
“I stand strong in the belief that Zach’s going to have a really good career in this league,” Saleh said.
It likely won’t be with the Jets, though.