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New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson hasn’t lost confidence in himself following a demotion to third-string status that lasted three games.
“Yeah, I definitely believe in myself,” Wilson responded when asked Wednesday if he still thinks he’s the team’s future at the position, as shared by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
Wilson addressed media members after head coach Robert Saleh confirmed earlier in the day that the second-year pro would head into the weekend as the primary backup for starter Mike White in place of veteran Joe Flacco. The 7-6 Jets host the 6-7 Detroit Lions this Sunday.
Saleh relegated Wilson to scout-team duties after the 23-year-old played poorly against the New England Patriots on Nov. 20 and then initially declined to say he and the New York offense “let the defense down” in the Week 11 loss. White is 1-2 as a starter this fall and, perhaps more importantly, is dealing with a rib injury that could leave Wilson one hit away from seeing meaningful action against the Lions.
“Of course, I have all the confidence in the world. I think that’s how it should be. But you’ve got to be able to prove that,” Wilson added during his comments.
Questions about attitude aside, Wilson was statistically one of the league’s worst quarterbacks for the ongoing season when he was atop the Gang Green depth chart. According to ESPN stats, he’d rank 33rd with a 72.6 passer rating if he was among qualified players, and his 43.2 total QBR would have him 26th in that category. In seven games, Wilson tossed just four touchdown passes and five interceptions.
“Zach’s been doing a great job,” Saleh told reporters, per Rich Cimini of ESPN. “He’s been deliberate in his approach over the last three weeks. He’s been holding himself accountable with regards to how he wants to attack practice, how he’s been performing in practice, going against our defense, which I think is a pretty good defense to go against. He’s been working on all the different things that we’ve been asking him to accomplish.”
White is on track to start against Detroit, but Saleh will need to have Wilson ready in case the 27-year-old’s ribs fail him at MetLife Stadium.