Zach Wilson
Troy Taormina | USA TODAY Sports

Zach Wilson has played — and talked — his way onto the bench.

The Jets have benched the quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Bears. The move comes two days after head coach Robert Saleh refused to commit to Wilson following a brutal outing — both on the field and in the postgame press conference — in the Jets’ devastating 10-3 loss at the Patriots last Sunday.

Mike White has been named the team’s new starter. White, a fan favorite, led the Jets to a surprise win over the eventual AFC champion Bengals last year and has flashed at times in his limited snaps. But he started the year as the team’s No. 3 quarterback and was just recently promoted to No. 2 over veteran Joe Flacco.

Flacco will be the backup against Chicago, Saleh told reporters. Wilson will be inactive. Saleh said the Jets hope to have Wilson play again this year, but that he needs time to reset. And that his Jets career is not over.

Wilson and the Jets’ offense struggled mightily in New England last weekend. The second-year quarterback — who has been up and down all year — then sparked a firestorm by refusing to accept responsibility for the loss. Saleh said his comments to the media did not play a roll in the decision to bench him.

Wilson was the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL draft. He is under contract for two more seasons after this one. If the Jets do end up moving on, they should be able to salvage a draft pick by trading Wilson.

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James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.