The NY Jets are going to be faced with a very interesting decision next Sunday when it comes to who they should start at quarterback with both Zach Wilson and Mike White expected to return to practice.
Head coach Robert Saleh spoke to the media on Friday and gave updates regarding both of the team's quarterbacks.
Wilson, who has been sidelined since Week 7 with a knee injury, is expected to practice for the first time since his injury next week. As for White, he injured his forearm this past Thursday, but despite missing most of the game, the team doesn't plan for him to miss any practice time.
That sets up a scenario where the Jets will have two (honestly even three or four) quarterbacks with a legitimate claim to the starting job.
Assuming all of the quarterbacks on the roster are healthy enough to play, who should the Jets start against the Buffalo Bills?
Should the NY Jets start Zach Wilson or Mike White?
This is one of those situations where there really isn't a right answer, and it's an unenviable position for the coaching staff to be in.
On one hand, Wilson remains the player the organization plans to build around. The second overall pick in this year's draft, Wilson was the unquestioned starter this summer and started the first six games prior to his injury.
Wilson had his fair share of ups and downs as a starter with more of the latter than the former. His struggles were particularly noticeable after both White and Josh Johnson found considerable success in the same offensive system.
Yes, you could point to a difference in play-calling or other offensive players performing better, but it's hard to argue that the offense's struggles weren't mostly on Wilson.
Wilson is a 22-year-old rookie with six starts under his belt. The promise he showed at BYU was enough to have him regarded as one of the best quarterbacks to come out of college in the last few years.
It's far too early to make any overarching statements about his NFL future. But is he the player the Jets should start right now?
With White under center, the Jets' offense looked competent, if not excellent. White ignited a Jets offense that had been dormant to that point, and based on merit, he's probably earned the starting job.
But there's obviously more at play here. What message does benching Wilson send to the rookie quarterback? Is it fair to bench a rookie second overall pick after just six starts simply because he was injured and his replacement outplayed him?
And how wise is it to have Wilson play a vaunted Bills in his first game back from injury? Those are the questions the Jets will be asking themselves ahead of next Sunday.
Ultimately, in my own personal opinion, I'd rather the Jets give White another shot against the Bills. Give Wilson at least another week to recover and allow him to return against the Miami Dolphins unless White proves he should remain the starter.
For as good as Mike White has looked, the Jets aren't nearly as concerned with his development as they are Wilson. The Jets will make their decision based on what they feel is best for their rookie quarterback.
To me, what's best for him is letting him sit for one more week to return for a much more favorable matchup against the Dolphins' defense.
Mike White should start in Week 10. But Zach Wilson's return likely shouldn't be too far in the future.