Zach Wilson expected to start at QB for the NY Jets on Thursday

NY Jets, Zach Wilson
NY Jets, Zach Wilson / Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets are hoping that quarterback Mike White will be cleared for contact in the near future, but it seems unlikely that it'll be by this Thursday. That means another start is expected for second-year QB Zach Wilson.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday that White is not expected to play on Thursday as he's dealing with three rib fractures on both sides of his body.

White was injured in the team's Week 14 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Despite coming back into the game twice following two nasty hits, later tests revealed multiple rib fractures and doctors refused to clear him for contact.

The timetable for his return is unknown, but it was never likely to be Week 16 given the short week. The Jets will hope to see White return in time for Week 17 against the Seattle Seahawks, but until then, it'll be the Zach Wilson show.

The NY Jets must win with Zach Wilson at quarterback

Wilson started in place of the injured White in Week 15, and while he made his fair share of impressive throws, the second-year quarterback was ultimately inconsistent and inaccurate for the majority of the game.

In fact, Wilson's off-target rate (basically inaccuracy rate) of 35.3% was actually worse than his off-target rate in his disastrous Week 11 performance against the New England Patriots. That 35.3% rate ranked 434th out of 442 individual QB performances this season.

For every throw Wilson made, there were a collection of others he missed. Sunday's performance was statistically one of the least accurate games by any quarterback this season.

Nonetheless, the Jets will need to rely on Wilson to help them defeat a red-hot Jacksonville Jaguars team on Thursday Night Football this week. With the Jets' playoff hopes on the line, they're going to have to win with Wilson at quarterback.

Despite Wilson's inconsistency, the Jets still had numerous opportunities to win Sunday's game. From a punt return touchdown to a crushing blown coverage to poor clock management, the Jets lost on Sunday for a variety of reasons.

The margin for error is thinner with Wilson at quarterback — the Jets can't afford to make those mistakes.

The Jets face a must-win game against the Jaguars on Thursday. They need to find a way to win with Wilson at quarterback much as they did earlier in the year.

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If not, their 11-year playoff drought will extend another season.