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Notebook | Jets QB Trevor Siemian Named Starter for Commanders Game

Zach Wilson Remains in Concussion Protocol; Sunday a Reunion for ‘'Bama Defenders


Jets QB Zach Wilson will not clear the concussion protocol in time for Sunday's Christmas Eve game against the visiting Washington Commanders, which means veteran QB Trevor Siemian will start.

Wilson left last Sunday's 30-0 loss to the Dolphins late in the second quarter after he took a hard hit to the head. Siemian replaced the third-year signal caller and completed 14-of-26 passes for 110 yards.

Following the Commanders game, the Jets will have a short week before going on the road to play the Browns on Thursday night (Dec. 28). HC Robert Saleh said that Wilson's status for the Week 17 game would depend on his progress over the weekend.

"It is still a possibility he can play," Saleh said. "It does make it a challenge that it is a Thursday game. He has to clear some hurdles over the weekend, so it will be one of those where we will see."

Siemian, a 7-year veteran, last started in Week 12 of 2022 for the Bears, against the Green & White. In his two game appearances this year he has completed 19-of-39 attempts for 176 yards and 2 interceptions. QB Brett Rypien, signed on Dec. 5, will backup Siemian. QB Aaron Rodgers, who was added to the active roster Wednesday, will not be made available to play Sunday.

In other injury news, DL John Franklin-Myers will not practice Friday (hip) after being listed as a DNP on Wednesday and Thursday. Saleh said he still feels good about his availability for Sunday. In addition, T Duane Brown was added to the injury report Friday (back) and is questionable. Rookie Carter Warren (hip) will play Sunday after missing last week's game and start at right tackle across from LT Mekhi Becton.

Tide Teammates Reunited Sunday
The position with the most talent on both teams Sunday may be along the interior of the defensive line with three Pro Bowlers, who were all drafted in the first round out of Alabama.

The Commanders' Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, and the Jets' Quinnen Williams were teammates in 2016 – Allen's last year and Williams' first. They each won a championship during their time in Tuscaloosa (Payne won two) and combined for five first-team All-SEC honors. Allen and Williams were each named unanimous All-Americans. Allen was the No. 17 pick in 2017, Payne No. 13 in '18 and Williams No. 3 in '19.

"They mean a lot to me, man," Williams said. "Just coming in as a young guy at ''Bama, those were my veterans, my leaders. They taught me almost everything I know to this day. They gave me the same mindset, taught me the ''Bama way. They're some phenomenal leaders and phenomenal football players."

Even though they're seven years removed from wearing the same uniform, Williams, the only one of the three to be named an All-Pro (2022), has a play engrained in his memory from his freshman year that Allen made.

"We played Texas A&M and he jumped over the running back, the Superman sack," he said. "That was insane. We were in our defensive line room and watched that one play over 30 times. He's so humble, man. He doesn't like to feel embarrassed our push the envelope. We made him feel bad that day by just saying how great he was and how amazing he was for that inspirational play."

Pro Bowl Push for Jets Special Teamers
Despite being eliminated from the postseason last Sunday, Jets players have reiterated this week that there is still plenty to play for, including the chance to earn a Pro Bowl selection.

And no special team's unit in the NFL may have more Pro Bowl-worthy players than the Jets – K Greg Zuerlein, safety and gunner Ashtyn Davis, P Thomas Morstead and long snapper Thomas Hennessey.

"[Zuerlein] has had a heck of a year and it been a godsend to have guys like him and Morstead," special teams coordinator Brant Boyer said. "… So you talk about those two guys and then Hennessy. I don't think there's three guys that have meant more to a team, as far as special teams wise, then what those three guys have. Then include Ashtyn Davis as a core guy. Those four, have played pretty, pretty dang well all season."

Zuerlein has missed 1 field-goal attempt this season – a 52-yarder in Week 4 – and is tied for No. 2 in the league in field-goal percentage (96.4%). Morstead ranks No. 3 in punts inside the 20-yard line (28) and, despite leading the league in totals punts (81), has landed more than 35% of his kicks inside the 20. Hennessey is tied for the league lead in tackles among long snappers (5) and Davis leads the NFL in total special teams tackles (12).

"I think they've done a heck of a job and the guys around them have done well," Boyer said. "Has it been perfect every time? No. Can we do better? Absolutely. Can we coach better? Absolutely, but specifically, those guys have been outstanding."

To vote these Jets players and others to the Pro Bowl Games in Orlando on Feb. 2, click here and cast your ballot before the polls close on Monday, Christmas Day.

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