Joe Flacco Reportedly to Start for Jets over Zach Wilson, Mike White in Week 18

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 6, 2023

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 25: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)  Joe Flacco #19 of the New York Jets in action against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Bengals defeated the Jets 27-12. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco is reportedly expected to make his fourth start of the year in the New York Jets' regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

SNY's Connor Hughes reported that Flacco will get the nod over both Mike White and Zach Wilson after the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention last week.

Flacco started the first three games of the season while Wilson worked his way back from a preseason injury, and he posted a 1-2 record while completing 58.7 percent of his passes for 901 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Since his last start in Week 3, Flacco has only attempted three passes, completing one of them for one yard.

The Jets' plan had been for Wilson to be the full-time starter throughout the year after he served in that role as a rookie in 2021, but poor play led to his getting benched.

Wilson did win each of his first four starts and five of his first six this season, but he was deactivated after throwing for just 77 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions on 9-of-22 passing in a 10-3 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 11.

He was replaced by White, who started Weeks 12-14. Although the Jets only went 1-2 in those games, he elevated the offense, throwing for 952 yards, three touchdowns and two picks during that three-game stretch.

White suffered broken ribs during a Week 14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, resulting in Wilson's return to the lineup for Weeks 15 and 16.

After performing admirably in a loss to the Detroit Lions with 317 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, Wilson was benched the following week for journeyman Chris Streveler during a 19-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Provided Wilson doesn't play in Week 18, he will finish his second NFL campaign in disappointing fashion with just 1,688 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions in nine games.

The Jets went back to White last week once he was cleared to return, but he struggled to the tune of two picks and no touchdown passes in a 23-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, which resulted in their elimination from playoff contention.

With neither Wilson nor White playing well of late, head coach Robert Saleh is turning to Flacco, who was a Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP during his 11-year run with the Baltimore Ravens.

Flacco's playing time has been inconsistent since the Ravens traded him to the Denver Broncos in 2019, but the 37-year-old is a seasoned veteran and capable stopgap.

Since the playoffs are out of the question, the Jets will merely play for pride this week and the opportunity to knock the AFC East rival Dolphins out of the postseason mix.