New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh spoke during Wednesdays news conference about quarterback Aaron Rodgers attempting to complete a remarkable return to the lineup this season as Zach Wilson hopes to keep the club in the playoff hunt.
“I think it’s admirable, from Aaron’s standpoint,” Saleh explained, per the Jets official website. “I think it demonstrates how much he loves and cares about his teammates in this locker room…It’s very easy to cash in, especially when your money is guaranteed. I always look at it that way, so for him to want to come back and keep clawing his way back when everybody in the world would understand that he doesn’t have to, I think that’s why we have such a genuine appreciation for him.”
Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles on Sept. 11, but raised eyebrows throughout the NFL community with how he moved around on both feet at MetLife Stadium ahead of the Jets overtime win over the New York Giants this past Sunday. The 39-year-old admitted during a Tuesday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” that hes not yet jogging and Jets general manager Joe Douglas told reporters following Tuesdays trade deadline he didnt have “any breaking news” at that time regarding whether Rodgers will take another meaningful snap before next season.
Wilson, meanwhile, received criticism from analysts and former Jets players after he completed 17-of-36 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown against the Giants en route to helping Gang Green improve to 4-3. Saleh suggested on Wednesday that he hasnt closed the door on Wilson potentially keeping a medically-cleared Rodgers a spectator through the postseason.
“You have an opportunity, you attack your opportunity” Saleh said about Wilson, as shared by Tom Rock of Newsday. “Make it so he makes the decision for everybody. That’s always the mindset.”
Minus a handful of moments, Wilson has thus far done little to justify Saleh sitting a healthy Rodgers. According to ESPN stats, Wilson begins Week 9 ranked 28th in the NFL among qualified players with a 36.7 adjusted QBR, 30th with a 74.3 passer rating and 31st with a 58.3% completion percentage on the season. The 24-year-old tossed five touchdown passes and five interceptions across the Jets first seven games.
Wilson could give Saleh and company something to think about by producing multiple stellar performances beginning with the teams upcoming “Monday Night Football” home game against the 3-4 Los Angeles Chargers. As of Wednesday evening, OddsChecker listed the Jets as 3.5-point underdogs against the Chargers.