After starting all nine games since Aaron Rodgers ruptured his Achilles in Week 1 of the season, Wilson will be replaced by Tim Boyle in a Black Friday clash against the Miami Dolphins. And Saleh added that veteran QB Trevor Siemian will be activated from the practice squad to be “the immediate backup” to Boyle.
Jets HC Robert Saleh announced that Trevor Siemian will be the immediate backup to Tim Boyle
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 20, 2023
Wilson was benched in favor of Boyle in the third quarter of an embarrassing 32-6 loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 11 on Sunday. But it's somewhat surprising that Siemian also passed him on the depth chart.
Equally surprising is that the Jets plan to dress all three quarterbacks Friday.
When asked if the Jets gave thought to releasing the 24-year-old, who’s in his third disappointing season after being selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Saleh replied, “No, there wasn’t.”
As for Wilson’s future with the Jets, Saleh said, “We’ll deal with it in the offseason.”
Zach Wilson has underwhelmed for three seasons as Jets QB
In 32 NFL games (31 starts), Wilson is 11-20, passed for fewer than 6,000 yards (5,966) and thrown more picks (25) than touchdowns (21). He was benched multiple times last season, viewed as the weak link that held the Jets back from making the playoffs, despite an elite defense.
Wilson was expected to sit and learn behind Rodgers this season after the future Hall of Famer arrived in a trade with the Green Bay Packers. But Rodgers was injured four plays into his debut and Wilson has had his ups and downs since.
Robert Saleh is asked if, in retrospect, the Jets should've had a "more proven" #2 QB than Zach Wilson:
"No, it felt like he'd get an opportunity to sit behind Aaron [Rodgers] and just learn" pic.twitter.com/rzsxMSxQMV
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 20, 2023
The Jets have managed one offensive touchdown in their past 15 quarters and had gone 40 possessions without a TD from their offense until Wilson connected on a short TD pass to Breece Hall on Sunday. They are historically terrible in red zone touchdown efficiency and third-down conversions, areas Wilson struggled in each of his first three seasons.
“I don’t think he’s a failure,” said Saleh, who then added, “Zach will have a good career.”
It appears that won’t happen in New York. It’s been two consecutive seasons when the Jets appeared playoff worthy and were held back by their offense and quarterback.
The Jets (4-6) have lost three in a row and are facing a 13th consecutive season out of the playoffs.
Tim Boyle will make fourth NFL start Friday against Dolphins
Boyle will give New York a fresh look at quarterback. However, the 29-year-old will make just his fourth NFL start and is seeking his first win in that role. He was 7-for-14 for 33 yards and an interception after replacing Wilson against the Bills.
“Different style of quarterback,” Saleh said of Boyle. “Just to give him an opportunity to see if he can do something with the offense.”
Siemian is more experienced than Boyle, but the latter is more acquainted with the current offensive scheme. Boyle played under Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in Green Bay previously.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Siemian play at some point, though. He’s 13-17 as an NFL starter and followed Peyton Manning as the Denver Broncos quarterback from 2016-17. He’s thrown 42 touchdown passes and been picked off 28 times in 35 games for six NFL teams.
Rodgers is reportedly planning a miraculous return from major surgery and targeted December 24 to be back under center in a game. But if the Jets continue to flounder and be out of the playoff picture, it’d be hard to envision Rodgers putting himself at risk as opposed to returning next season.