Sports | October 26, 2021 10:30 am

Jets Trade for Joe Flacco With Rookie Quarterback Zach Wilson Injured

The former Super Bowl winner has gone just 6-15 as a starter over portions of the past three seasons

Joe Flacco looks on during a game against the New England Patriots
Joe Flacco looks on during a game against the New England Patriots.
Billie Weiss/Getty

With rookie quarterback Zach Wilson on the shelf for two to four weeks thanks to a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee he suffered during Sunday’s blowout loss to the New England Patriots, the New York Jets were apparently not comfortable moving forward with backup QB Mike White as their only choice to start games.

So, Gang Green and first-year head coach Robert Saleh brought back a familiar face by trading with the Philadelphia Eagles for veteran Joe Flacco, who was with the Jets last season and went 0-4 as their starting QB when former starter Sam Darnold, who was benched on Sunday by the Panthers, was forced to the sidelines.

Flacco, who was acquired for a conditional sixth-round draft pick that can become a fifth-rounder based on how much he plays, was a winning quarterback during the majority of his time with the Ravens and helped lead Baltimore to a Super Bowl victory, but he has gone just 6-15 as a starter over portions of the past three seasons.

The 36-year-old, who threw for 864 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions last season, may not start this week against the Bengals as he re-acquaints himself with New York’s playbook, which would give White the opportunity to start his first NFL game. If the 26-year-old former South Florida and Western Kentucky University QB fares well, it’s possible he will keep the gig, but having Flacco back in the building gives Saleh another option if White struggles as the team’s starter.

No matter what happens, it is shaping up to be another lost season in New York as the Jets (1-5) don’t really have a chance of making a run at a playoff spot and now will lose the opportunity to develop and evaluate Wilson for a good chunk of time. So far, the No. 2 overall pick has completed 58% of his passes and thrown four touchdowns and nine interceptions.

“He can still be very active in his rehab, active in his learning and keep pace with the install of the offense,” Saleh said. “And he’ll be back before you know it. I don’t think it’s a setback. It’s always good to be able to step away and just watch the offense through the lens of another quarterback.”

Apparently the team is nervous about that lens belonging to White, who is in his fourth NFL season but hadn’t thrown a pass in a regular-season game prior to Sunday when he replaced Wilson, which is why Flacco is back.