For the first time since Week 1, QB Zach Wilson will not be the Jets' starter when they host the Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on Black Friday. Wilson, however, plans to do 'everything' he can from the sideline to help the offense find its groove and the Green & White snap its three-game losing skid.
"I've dedicated my life to this," Wilson said. "I absolutely love this game and it sucks to come short and to feel like it hasn't been there, but everyone's going to keep fighting. Even though I'm not on the field, I still believe this offense can be great."
In the Jets 32-6 loss to the Bills last Sunday, HC Robert Saleh replaced Wilson late in the third quarter. with five-year veteran Tim Boyle. On Monday, Saleh named Boyle the team's Week 12 starter. In addition, the Jets signed Trevor Siemian to the active roster to be Boyle's backup. As a result, Wilson, who has started the last 9 games and played a majority of the snaps in the season opener after QB Aaron Rodgers sustained a torn Achilles tendon, will be the Jets' emergency third quarterback on Friday.
The decision did not come as a surprise to Wilson after the offense's recent struggles. Since the Jets' 4-3 start, they have scored 1 touchdown over the past 3 games and in total this season rank last in the NFL in touchdowns scored with 11 (9 by the offense). Saleh said the change at quarterback was to try and provide the offense with a 'spark.'
"Zach, it is not all him," Saleh said. "But there are some things that he needs to be better at and this is just another situation to see if we can give another guy an opportunity, see if something can change."
Wilson added: "As I said to you guys, when you're not scoring touchdowns consistently and we're letting our defense down, we're not putting up points, what do you expect? You can sit there and be happy with the progress I feel like I made personally, but it doesn't matter if you can't score."
Although the decision was a disappointment, Wilson isn't taking the move personally.
"You have to look at the situation," Wilson said. "One play and I could be right back in there. And obviously how things have gone, what we have isn't working. We are going to go to Tim and if something happens, they will try Trevor. We are at the point where let's find something that is working because what we are doing right now is not working."
Boyle, signed to the Jets practice squad after training camp and added to the active roster in Week 2 (Sept. 16), and Wilson have built a bond since the veteran signal caller arrived in April for OTAs.
In 10 game appearances this season, Wilson has thrown for 1,944 yards, 6 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. With the experience from taking a majority of the Jets' first-team reps this season, Wilson thinks he can assist the former Bears, Packers and Lions QB.
"Timmy and I have grown extremely close," Wilsons said. "He is someone I am very close with and a very dear friend I have a lot of love for. So, I am thinking, how can I help him and how can I help the guys and be a part of this team and this offense. Because regardless of me being out there, I have a lot of love for these guys, and I want to help them."