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Report: Joe Flacco Will Start for Jets vs. Browns amid Zach Wilson's Knee Injury

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 14, 2022

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 11: Joe Flacco #19 of the New York Jets throws a pass in the first quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joe Flacco (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Joe Flacco will reportedly remain the New York Jets' starting quarterback for Sunday's Week 2 road game against the Cleveland Browns.

ESPN's Rich Cimini reported Wednesday a switch to fellow backup Mike White was not "strongly considered" after a 24-9 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 as starter Zach Wilson continues to recover from a knee injury.

Flacco was called on far more frequently than expected in the season opener. He completed 37 of his league-high 59 attempts for 307 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Throwing the ball nearly 60 times while the running back tandem of Michael Carter and Breece Hall combined for just 16 carries is not the Jets' path to success, and it didn't help that the 37-year-old veteran was under constant pressure due to lackluster line play.

"There were plays when we weren't helping Joe, and there were plays when he wasn't helping either," head coach Robert Saleh told reporters.

The offense's poor production combined with Saleh's lukewarm support of Flacco afterward raised questions about whether White would get a chance to lead the unit in Week 2.

White was a one-game sensation last year, throwing for 405 yards and three touchdowns in an upset win over the eventual AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals on Halloween, but he finished the year with five TDs and eight interceptions in four appearances.

It sounds like the Jets are going to stick with Flacco against the Browns, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see a quarterback change if the team struggles again in Week 2.

Saleh confirmed before the opener it's unlikely Wilson will be ready before a Week 4 road clash with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"We're going to make sure mind and body are 110 percent and make sure we do right by him," Saleh said. "We feel like, from talking to the doctors and everyone, it's going to be that Pittsburgh week."

So if Flacco struggles again Sunday, White could get his chance for a repeat performance against the Bengals in Week 3 before the 2021 second overall pick reclaims his spot atop the depth chart.

The Jets need a spark of any kind to get their season going since they won't have much margin for error if they want to make a playoff push in the loaded AFC.