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Jets' QB Mike White Took Big Hits, but Never Wavered in Loss to Bills

HC Robert Saleh: ‘I Think He Showed Everyone Else What We Already Know -- How Tough He Is’


Several times in the past few weeks Mike White said that he was not interested in playing "hero ball." On Sunday, White was a hero in defeat.

After the Jets' 20-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on Sunday, White, who took multiple shots to the ribs, was sent to a nearby hospital to be evaluated.

"I thought he showed resolve, toughness, everything we've been seeing," Jets head coach Robert Saleh said after the game. "He's a good player."

Saleh added that White would not be available to the media until perhaps Monday and also said that he expected White to be back under center when the Jets (7-6) face the red-hot Detroit Lions (6-7) next Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

White, who had consecutive 300-yard passing games in his first two starts this season, completed 27 of 44 for 268 yards for a 78.8 QB rating. The numbers, however, tell nothing of the fortitude and determination of the fourth-year quarterback out of Western Kentucky.

See the best images from the Week 14 matchup between the Jets and Bills in Buffalo.

The game, and particularly the first half, was a struggle for the two teams in the chilly, windy, rain and snow so familiar to Western New York. Neither team could muster much of an offensive attack, with White hitting on only 9 of 14 for 86 yards and his Buffalo counterpart, Josh Allen, connecting on 9 of 15 for 70 yards.

White took a big hit from Ed Oliver midway through the second quarter as he completed a 24-yard pass to Elijah Moore. He walked off the field and returned two plays later.

"He took some shots and I know he was hurting," LT Duane Brown said of White. "He didn't want to be out of the game — he wanted to finish. Major heart, toughness. He's a dog, that's the bottom line, but we have to do a better job of protecting him."

The Jets took the second-half kickoff and White took the Green & White on a 10-play, 74-yard touchdown drive as he connected with five receivers on the possession. The drive included third-down completions to rookie Garrett Wilson (for 13 yards) and Braxton Berrios (for 25 yards).

It was on the Jets' next drive that White and the Jets moved to midfield. On a first-down pass attempt, White's pass intended for Tyler Conklin went incomplete. But on the play, Buffalo MLB Matt Milano broke through the Jets' offensive line and put his helmet squarely into White's midsection. White crumpled to the turf as the team's medical crew rushed to his aid. He walked off the field, but minutes later was seen on CBS-TV being escorted to the locker room. Right tackle George Fant was also injured on the play. Backup Joe Flacco came on and on the next play found himself surrounded by a Bills' rush that forced a fumble that led to Tyler Bass' 38-yard field goal.

With White still in the locker room, the Jets went three-and-out on the next series as the third quarter ended.

"We brought him into the locker room to get evaluated," Saleh said. "X-rays check out. He said he felt good and wanted to come back in."

Buffalo added another field goal, to lead 20-7, but White returned to the game with a little more than 12 minutes remaining and the Jets looking up at a 13-point deficit.

"Whenever he comes back in the game over and over and over again, it just shows his heart," WR Elijah Moore said of White. "I respect him for doing that because I know that hurts."

The Jets got a boost when rookie Jermaine Johnson burst through the Bills line and blocked Sam Martin's punt out of the end zone for safety. A late fumble by RB Michael Carter ended a promising drive and the Jets settled for a Greg Zuerlien field goal to get within 8 points, but White and the Jets ran out of time.

"He's tough," Saleh said of White, who was sacked four times and hit seven times. "Shoot, he plays the game well, fast, and processes well. He gets rid of the ball pretty good. I think he showed everyone else what we already know -- how tough he is."

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