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Jets' Zach Wilson to Start vs. Lions; Mike White Not Cleared by Doctors

Adam WellsDecember 16, 2022

FOXBOROUGH, MA - NOVEMBER 20: New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) carries the ball during a game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets on November 20, 2022, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After being elevated to the No. 2 quarterback spot earlier this week, Zach Wilson will start for the New York Jets on Sunday.

Head coach Robert Saleh announced on Friday that Mike White won't be available against the Detroit Lions. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Jets doctors won't clear White to play following the rib injury he suffered in Week 14 against the Buffalo Bills.

White later told reporters he was diagnosed with a fractured rib.

Saleh announced on Wednesday that Wilson was being moved up the depth chart. He was inactive for the previous three games, with Joe Flacco serving as White's backup during that stretch.

Wilson was benched following a disastrous Week 11 outing against the New England Patriots. The 23-year-old went 9-of-22 for 77 yards in a 10-3 loss.

SNY.tv's Connor Hughes reported after the Patriots game that Wilson's demeanor rubbed some of his teammates the wrong way because he was walking around the locker room "like he isn't the problem."

Jets Videos @snyjets

.<a href="https://twitter.com/Connor_J_Hughes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Connor_J_Hughes</a>: "Do you feel like you let the defense down at all?"<br><br>Zach Wilson: "No." <a href="https://t.co/tiJiTSrFPE">pic.twitter.com/tiJiTSrFPE</a>

Saleh expressed confidence in Wilson's ability to figure things out after naming him the starter for Sunday's game.

"He's the same quarterback that once went 18 for 18 in a bowl game," the Jets coach said.

White threw for 952 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the past three games as the starting quarterback.

The Jets succeeded with Wilson as their starter this season, despite his struggles. They are 5-2 in seven games with him under center. He is only completing 55.6 percent of his attempts with four touchdowns and five interceptions.

Wilson moves back into the starting role as the Jets are fighting for a playoff spot. They are tied in the standings with the Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers at 7-6, but both teams are ahead of them based on tiebreakers.

New York is hosting a Lions team that has won five of their last six games.