Mike White Credit: Bill Moore

The saying “It’s darkest before the dawn” means that circumstances are at their worst before they get better. The question for the New York Jets is, how long will it be dark? How long will they be at their worst? When will things improve?

It seems like it will be dark for another several weeks for the 1-5 Jets, who host the
5-2 Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium. The Jets lost their rookie starting quarterback Zach Wilson for maybe the next month to a strained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his right knee in a 54-13 loss to the New England Patriots on the road last Sunday. 

The NFL season hasn’t even reached its halfway point and the Bengals have already won more games than they’ve won all of last season. They went 4-11-1 but are now leading the AFC  North. Their most impressive win was last Sunday’s 41-17 defeat of Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Jets, on the other hand, are coming off of their worst loss of the season. Wilson was knocked out of Sunday’s game by Patriots linebacker Matt Judon in the second quarter when he fell on the back of the QB’s leg after he threw an incomplete pass. 

Wilson was able to walk off of the field on his own after several minutes of examination on the field by the Jets training and medical staff but did not return. “At first, it wasn’t necessarily like a painful thing,” he said after the game. “I felt a pop. I felt a twist,” Wilson further explained. “I knew something had happened.”

He was replaced by Mike White, a fifth round pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 out of Western Kentucky. The Jets signed White in August of 2019 after the Cowboys waived him. The 26-year-old White’s entry into Sunday’s game was his regular season pro debut. He threw for 202 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

To reinforce the position, the Jets made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for Joe Flacco, who was the starter for the Ravens 2013 Super Bowl winning team. The 36-year-old veteran spent last season with the Jets backing up Sam Darnold. He appeared in five games, starting four when Darnold was injured, going 0-4 and passing for 864 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. The Jets sent Philadelphia a 2022 sixth-round draft pick that can become a fifth-rounder, based on Flacco’s playing time.

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