Sitting at 4-8 following a 13-8 loss to the Falcons (6-6) in the Meadowlands that saw the home team only manage to get into the end zone when the defense recorded a safety, the New York Jets will be making a change at quarterback once again. Week 12’s starter, Tim Boyle, was recently released and journeyman Brett Rypien was signed. Trevor Siemian, who replaced Boyle in the loss to Atlanta in the fourth quarter and was 5-of-13 for 66 yards, is also on the roster, as is former top pick Zach Wilson. Injured in Week 1, Aaron Rodgers is still rehabbing but is keeping himself involved with the team.
Out of Rypien, Siemian and Wilson, the Jets are going with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, who was benched in favor of Boyle and has been the third-stringer the past couple of weeks, on Sunday against the Houston Texans. “Zach gives us our best chance to win. We’re giving him another opportunity to go prove that,” said head coach Robert Saleh. “He’s fired up.”
Saleh is rolling with Wilson, who hasn’t been able to get many practice reps since his benching, despite multiple team sources telling The Athletic the 24-year-old was “reluctant to take on the job” and is is “apprehensive due to perceived injury risk.”
Speaking to Pat McAfee as he does every week for a hefty fee, Rodgers took major exception with what the team sources leaked out about Wilson and the fact that anything about the situation had been shared with the press at all. Rodgers, who is on the verge of turning 40 and could theoretically play again this season if he is healthy enough, said he had a “real hard time” with the sources attempting to “assassinate” Wilson’s character.
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“You’re basically saying that this kid is quitting on the team and doesn’t want to play and is giving the middle finger to the organization,” Rodgers said. “What is your impetus, what is your motivation to try and bury someone like that?” Rodgers said. “And that’s a problem with the organization. You know, we need to get to the bottom of whatever this is coming from and put a stop to it privately, because there’s no place in a winning culture where — and this is not the only time. There’s been a bunch of other leaks. I think it’s chickenshit at its core and I think it has no place in a winning organization.”
Why Rodgers would think the Jets, who have the longest active playoff drought in the NFL (12 seasons) and have not finished in first place in the AFC East in more than 20 years, would behave in a manner befitting a winning organization is a mystery. The organization that’s known for “The Butt Fumble,” having a coach with a foot fetish and this guy below is many things, but a winner is not one of them.
How Rodgers didn’t realize that before orchestrating his trade from Green Bay to New Jersey is unclear, but at least he’s realizing it now. What good it will do him at this point with New York’s season hanging by a thread remains to be seen.