The Jets have defended Zach Wilson as their starting quarterback for months. On Sunday, trailing big to the rival Bills and in danger of falling another game below .500, they finally benched the much-maligned signal-caller, turning to reserve Tim Boyle.
With Wilson just 7 of 15 for 81 yards and a 57.9 passer rating through almost three quarters, New York finally pulled the plug on the 2021 first-round pick, inserting Boyle with just over two minutes remaining in the third. The latter took over down 29-6, tasked with injecting any semblance of life into an offense that has consistently ranked among the NFL’s worst since Week 1.
Boyle, who signed with the Jets as the No. 3 QB in April, went 3 of 3 on his first drive in place of Wilson, also converting a fourth-and-1 sneak. But he saw his opening series cut short when wide receiver Garrett Wilson lost a fumble after a catch.
Before joining New York, Boyle appeared in just 16 NFL games over four seasons, with three touchdowns to eight interceptions and a 54.5 rating. He spent a year apiece with the Bears and Lions as an emergency reserve from 2021-2022, but is perhaps best known for sitting behind Aaron Rodgers with the Packers from 2018-2020.
Rodgers’ Week 1 Achilles tear, of course, is the only reason Wilson ended up back under center in the first place. But Jets coach Robert Saleh repeatedly downplayed Wilson’s struggles during a 3-5 stretch filling in for the rehabbing Rodgers. After going 8-14 with 15 TDs and 18 INTs during his first two NFL seasons, the former No. 2 overall pick has completed fewer than 60% of his throws this year, managing just six TD passes in nine starts.
Rodgers is aiming to make an unprecedentedly early return from his injury, reportedly hoping to resume practicing in early December, but he’s also cautioned that his timeline will depend on the Jets’ playoff possibilities.