New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh benched struggling quarterback Zach Wilson during Sunday’s 32-6 loss at the Buffalo Bills.
Wilson will remain a spectator through the upcoming holiday weekend.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Saleh will start backup quarterback Tim Boyle over Wilson when the 4-6 Jets host the 7-3 Miami Dolphins on Friday. Boyle, 29, had attempted only 106 career regular-season passes before he replaced Wilson against Buffalo and completed 7-of-14 attempts for 33 yards and an interception in the defeat.
While Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett both repeatedly defended Wilson this fall amid calls from fans for the second pick of the 2021 NFL Draft to sit, Connor Hughes of SNY mentioned late Sunday night that the Wilson-led offense scored just one touchdown over its last 46 possessions.
According to ESPN stats, Wilson ranks 30th in the league among qualified players with a 30.8 adjusted QBR and a 73.8 passer rating on the season. Meanwhile, the Jets are ranked 30th with an average of 270.3 offensive yards per contest.
Hughes added in his report that “there is a belief shared by some within the building that their wholesale problems on offense are compounded by their struggles under center.”
Saleh benched Wilson twice last season, and it was hoped the 24-year-old would spend the majority of the ongoing campaign as a backup behind future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.
Those plans blew up when Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles four plays into his Jets career, but it was reported Sunday he wants to make his return for New York’s Week 16 home game against the Washington Commanders on Christmas Eve.
After the Boyle news broke, oddschecker listed the Jets as nine-point underdogs against the Dolphins. If New York falls to 4-7 with Boyle in the lineup, Saleh and Jets general manager Joe Douglas will need to seriously discuss protecting Rodgers from himself and shutting the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player down through Week 18.
As for Wilson, he may have taken the final snap of his Jets career with Rodgers planning to start for the club through at least next season.