New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is third on the depth chart for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears. Despite benching the former No. 2 pick, though, it’s apparent the Jets’ front office and coaching staff remain very high on the young quarterback.
Days in advance of the Week 12 matchup, head coach Robert Saleh announced that Wilson was demoted to the third-string quarterback. The decision came after a season-worst performance by the BYU alum, completing just 9-of-22 passes for 77 yards in a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots.
- Zach Wilson stats (2022): 55.6% completion rate, 4-5 TD-INT, 72.6 QB rating, 6.8 ypa
However, the poor performance was only made worst in the post-game press conference. Asked by reporters if he felt he personally let the defense down, Wilson responded with a firm “no” and didn’t seem to take full accountability for the loss.
The 23-year-old’s comments created issues in the locker room. Players on the defensive side were livid at Wilson’s comments. Saleh later refused to name a starting quarterback the next day, before revealing Wednesday that Wilson wouldn’t start.
While Wilson’s reaction in the press conference has sparked discussion about his maturity and leadership, he reportedly did step up this week.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Wilson addressed the team in a players-only setting, apologizing for the comments he made and making it clear his words didn’t represent how he actually felt. Wilson was reportedly very emotional in the meeting, showing remorse for how his original comments came off.
Jets’ sources told Rapoport that there is a full expectation Wilson returns as the starting quarterback. The team also raved about Wilson’s work ethic, even suggesting he works too hard at times.
“Caring has never been an issue. An insanely hard worker, Wilson may grind too hard to a point where it becomes difficult to function, according to those who know him well. Last season, he struggled with simple throws, battling a case of the yips while doing so.”NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on New York Jets QB Zach Wilson
New York hopes that moving Wilson down the depth chart will allow him to reset mentally. The organization believes the yips are the source of a majority of his problems and Wilson will look like the former No. 2 pick when he gets over the mental hurdle.
For now, the Jets remain fully committed to Wilson as their long-term quarterback. However, the moves they make in the 2023 offseason will be a far better indicator of how much faith the organization has in him.