FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Home fans chanted Mike White’s name during the New York Jets’ season-opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens, but they’re not making a quarterback change this week.
Joe Flacco, who started for the injured Zach Wilson, will remain in the lineup against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Coach Robert Saleh said on Wednesday he had never seriously considered a move, although he raised some doubts on Monday.
“There was a comedy of mistakes that just resulted in what seemed like a poor performance from him,” Saleh said of Flacco, alluding to four lost passes and two fumbles. “Well it wasn’t his best performance, but I don’t think it was as bad as people think it was.”
On Monday, Saleh hinted that Flacco would “probably” start the game, but added that all positions would be reviewed. White is a fan favorite for his 405-yard passing performance against the Cincinnati Bengals last season, but he worked exclusively on third-team offense before Wilson’s injury last season.
Now the question arises, will Flacco have a short leash if the offensive against the Browns (1-0) stutters?
“No, Joe’s our quarterback,” Saleh said. “We’re focused on Cleveland, just trying to get through this and we’ll see what happens.”
The Jets will be without Wilson for at least two more games. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on August 16 and was ruled out of the first three games. He returned to training on Wednesday, albeit very limited. In uniform for the first time since the injury, he did dropbacks and threw on air during the open portion of practice.
Flacco, 37, struggled in the 24-9 loss to the Ravens as the Jets failed to score a touchdown until the last minute of the game. His lack of mobility was glaring — three sacks, 11 quarterback hits and 19 pressured times, according to Next Gen Stats.
Flacco completed 37 of 59 passes for 307 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. In fairness, the run-pass balance has gone haywire as the Jets called 62 passing games out of 79 games overall. He also played behind a reshuffled offensive line, with George Fant returning at left tackle and rookie Max Mitchell starting at right tackle. Those changes were made last week due to a shoulder injury to left tackle Duane Brown, who was placed on injured reserve.
Saleh said Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP, performed well when the bag was clean, adding that he needed to find his check-down receivers faster once the bag collapsed.
Flacco is 0-6 as a starter for the Jets, covering the 2020, 2021 and 2022 seasons. He hasn’t won a start since 2019 when he played for the Denver Broncos.
White has not played since a four-interception performance on Nov. 14 against the Buffalo Bills. In three starts, he had four touchdown passes and six interceptions. After the blowout loss to the Bills, he was benched in favor of Flacco. Wilson was out at this point with a knee injury.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34590353/new-york-jets-sticking-joe-flacco-starting-qb-week-2-source-says New York Jets sticking with Joe Flacco as starting QB in Week 2