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Jets bench Zach Wilson, Mike White to start vs. Bears

NEW YORK - Zach Wilson has been benched by the New York Jets and the underachieving quarterback will be replaced by Mike White as the starter Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Coach Robert Saleh announced the decision Wednesday after evaluating and discussing the situation with his assistants.

"We're going to roll with Mike White," Saleh said. "It's the same thing that we talked about when we elevated him in the second spot... we know he's fully capable. He's started in this league, he's won games for us, we're going to give him the opportunity." 

"Zach's career here is not over," Saleh said, adding that the plan is to have the second-year quarterback "reset" with the hope Wilson plays again this season. "This is not putting a nail in his coffin."

Joe Flacco will serve as White's backup, and Wilson will not be active against the Bears.

Saleh didn't commit Monday to having Wilson under center this week after the second-year quarterback's dismal performance in the Jets' 10-3 loss to the Patriots in New England. The No. 2 overall pick in the draft last year was 9 of 22 for a measly 77 yards with several wayward throws. The Jets managed just 2 total yards on seven possessions in the second half.

Wilson has taken a lot of criticism this week not only for his play on the field, but how he handled his postgame news conference. When asked if he thought he and the offense let down the defense — which sacked Mac Jones six times — Wilson replied curtly: "No. No."

It appeared to be a lack of accountability and rubbed some inside the Jets' locker room the wrong way. Rookie wide receiver Garrett Wilson vented after the game, without using names, saying the offense had a "sorry" performance and "hopefully, this is a wakeup for some people in the facility."

Saleh acknowledged there might have been "a little irritation," but insisted Wilson's comments had no bearing on the decision. Saleh said Wilson addressed the team, but declined to share details.


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