Zach Wilson’s career with the New York Jets is not over, reiterated head coach Robert Saleh after confirming his decision to cut him.
Wilson had the worst offensive performance for the Jets in Sunday’s 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots, averaging 2.1 yards per play and managing just two yards of offense in the second half at Gillette Stadium.
Saleh said benching Wilson, the 2021 second overall pick, was far from his mind, but on Wednesday he announced a change of tune ahead of the Week 12 matchup against the Chicago Bears.
“The main thing I’m going to address is … Zach’s career here is not over,” Saleh told reporters.
“I know that’s going to be the narrative, I know that’s what everyone wants to say and it’s not close to happening. The goal, the full intent, is to make sure Zach gets back on the football field at some point this year. . . .
“When that happens, I take that decision, I take it day by day. The biggest thing with Zach, the same things we talked about, the young guy needs to reset.
“His decision-making is good, his training habits are good, but there are some key fundamentals for him and this is an opportunity for him to sit down and focus on those things.
“It’s something he feels he can do.”
Mike White will start for the 6-4 Jets against the 3-8 Bears with Joe Flacco starting and Wilson inactive.
“Is this a small step back? Absolutely,” Saleh said. “But when he has a chance to recover, I think it’s going to be a big leap forward? Absolutely.
“It’s not putting the nail in his coffin. It’s not like that. It’s not close to him. But I’m sure he’ll be a rejuvenated, renewed guy at the end of this.”
The Pats collapsed in the loss, and Wilson was criticized for failing to take responsibility for his poor performance, where the Jets defense was held to just three points.
But Wilson apologized to his teammates on Wednesday and pledged his support for White to win back the QB role.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” Wilson said. “All I could think about the last couple of days was I wanted the opportunity to talk to those guys and I really wanted to make it happen.
– I wouldn’t say [I was] definitely surprised because I haven’t done my job yet. Of course I don’t want to agree with the decision and everything, but I have to play better.”
For his career, Wilson completed his pass percentage of 55.6 for 3,613 yards, 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.