Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Jets’ Robert Saleh announces Mike White will start at quarterback against Bengals

It’ll be Mike White who’ll get the start for the New York Jets when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Head coach Robert Saleh made the announcement on Tuesday, picking White over veteran Joe Flacco, who was just acquired by the team earlier this week in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. White gets the nod after rookie quarterback and Week 1 starter Zach Wilson suffered a PCL injury against the Patriots in Week 7 that is set to sideline him for the next few weeks. 

White came in under duress after Wilson went down and showed solid flashes in his first taste of regular-season action. In the 54-13 blowout loss to New England, White completed 20 of his 32 throws for 202 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. 

“Same expectations with every starting quarterback,” Saleh said of White, who’s set to make his first NFL start. “Take care of the football, move the football, move the chains, score when you get a chance to score, but really just command the offense the way he has since OTAs and training camp. 

“I thought he did a really nice job when he went in there on Sunday. He finished off the scoring drive, had another drive into field goal range that we failed on fourth down, had a scoring drive to start the second half, and had another drive that entered field goal range and we just didn’t finish. He can move the ball. He can do well.”   

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Of course, if White isn’t able to keep New York afloat, it’ll be interesting to see how long of a leash he’ll have before the club looks to Flacco. After all, the veteran spent the entire 2020 season with the Jets, albeit under a different coaching staff.

“Obviously, Joe has been around the league and been a prolific quarterback,” said Saleh. “It was an opportunity that hit Joe [Douglas’] desk in the morning this week and it was something we thought would be beneficial to the entire team, especially with Zach being out for 2-4 weeks. We felt like we needed another quarterback in there.”

Currently, the Bengals are a 10.5-point favorite against the Jets on Sunday. 

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