The NY Jets were hoping that quarterback Mike White would be cleared to play in time for the team's Week 15 matchup with the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but on Friday, those hopes were shattered.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that White was not cleared for contact and that he'd be unable to play this Sunday. The Jets later confirmed this themselves as Zach Wilson is set to start in White's place.
To make matters worse, the Jets aren't optimistic that White will be able to play in Week 16 either as the team has a short week ahead with a Thursday night matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars looming.
Head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that it might be difficult for White to return on a short week next Thursday meaning that he could be sidelined for multiple games.
The NY Jets might get another extended look at Zach Wilson after the Mike White injury
White was knocked out of Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills on two separate occasions after a pair of nasty hits. The former fifth-round pick was even forced to leave the stadium in an ambulance for additional testing.
Despite White telling reporters on Thursday that there was "no doubt" that he'd be able to play on Sunday, the Jets' doctors clearly didn't agree. He may feel physically fine, but the Jets' medical staff hasn't cleared him for contact.
It just so happens that the team's next game comes on Thursday night leaving White only a few days to heal and get cleared to return. It seems more and more likely that Wilson will start at least the Jets' next two games.
For Wilson, this is a golden opportunity to prove himself to a team that benched him only a few weeks ago. It's hard to imagine the second-year quarterback has fixed all of his issues in just three weeks, but the Jets really don't have much of a choice.
The Jets insisted that they wanted to see what Wilson could do again this season. Now, they'll have that opportunity. Wilson is set to start two seemingly must-win games for the Jets at the most crucial point in the season.
There is little room for error, and Wilson knows that.
As for White, he'll have to watch from the sideline for at least one game — and quite possibly more — with his team's playoff hopes hanging in the balance.