Zach Wilson jets
Vincent Carchietta | USA TODAY Sports

The Jets have a huge game on Sunday at MetLife Stadium to get themselves back on track. They’ll have to do so without quarterback Mike White. Doctors wouldn’t clear him for contact with his injured ribs before the weekend, so Zach Wilson gets his opportunity to steer New York’s offense once again.

Wilson has been sidelined for three weeks while White took over as QB1. It’s not like he was just knocked down one peg on the depth chart, either. Wilson was the QB3 and didn’t even dress for the past three weeks. Head coach Robert Saleh elevated the 2021 second-overall pick to QB2 earlier this week. Just days later, he finds himself back with the first stringers.

Was this all rigged? Some on Twitter were waiting for WFAN legend Joe Beningo to start shouting that from the rooftops. He didn’t have to, though, because Brandon Tierney did it on Friday’s edition of “Tiki and Tierney”.

Here’s some of what he said (quotes via WFAN):

Maybe I just don’t trust anybody, and it’s not a knock on Saleh. But let’s connect some dots here.

For basically a month, Robert Saleh has been telling everybody that they’re gonna get Zach Wilson back out there. Was a soft landing spot in Minnesota? Not necessarily. Was a soft landing spot up in Buffalo? Absolutely not. Even though Detroit is a good team in terms of offense, this is absolutely, by far, the softest possible landing spot in terms of what a quarterback is going to see with an opposing defense with Detroit’s defense, which stinks against the pass.

I can’t prove this, but it is my belief, on many levels, the Jets just said, ‘Hey docs, don’t clear him. We want this kid to go back out there.’ You have to think it’s a possibility.

The news of White not getting cleared certainly comes as a surprise. He was knocked out of the game against Buffalo on two occasions because of big hits. However, he returned both times and finished this matchup on the field. White went to a local hospital for a precautionary CT scan, which didn’t reportedly reveal any concerns. He’s been practicing all week, and while there’s obviously been no contact involved, it seemed like the signal-caller would definitely be ready to play Detroit.

But then again, any athlete knows what they think and what doctors think are two very different things. As Saleh said when delivering the news, “We gotta do what’s best for the player and protect the player from the player.”

There’s no way that this is anything more than a coincidence. If White didn’t get hurt on Sunday, what would the Jets be doing this week to get Wilson back on the field? Maybe I’m just too naive to think any other way right now, but this just seems ridiculous. Despite that, I’m sure this perspective will gain some steam on the ol’ interwebs.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.