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Zach Wilson (2) and Tim Boyle (7) have so far failed to make up for the loss of the injured Aaron Rodgers
Zach Wilson (2) and Tim Boyle (7) have so far failed to make up for the loss of the injured Aaron Rodgers. Photograph: Dave Richard/AP
Zach Wilson (2) and Tim Boyle (7) have so far failed to make up for the loss of the injured Aaron Rodgers. Photograph: Dave Richard/AP

Desperate Jets turn to Boyle as Zach Wilson relegated to No 3 QB

  • Career backup to get first Jets start against Dolphins
  • Jets lose patience with former No 2 overall pick

Tim Boyle will be the New York Jets’ starting quarterback against the Miami Dolphins on Friday, the team confirmed on Monday.

Boyle replaces the benched Zach Wilson, who took over as the starter when Aaron Rodgers suffered a torn achilles four snaps into his debut with New York in their season opener. New York Jets head coach Robert Saleh said on Monday that Wilson will be the No 3 quarterback on the roster against the Dolphins, with Trevor Siemian as Boyle’s backup.

“It’s really just to give [Boyle] an opportunity to see if we can do something with the offense,” said Saleh.

It will be the 29-year-old Boyle’s fourth NFL start and his first since 2021 with the Detroit Lions. He is a below average NFL quarterback at best, and has thrown three touchdowns to nine interceptions in his career.

Wilson and the Jets offense have struggled mightily this season, and coach Robert Saleh pulled the former No 2 overall draft pick late in the third quarter of New York’s 32-6 loss at Buffalo on Sunday.

Boyle replaced Wilson – and now gets a chance at the starting job on a short week for the Jets as they face the AFC East-rival Dolphins on Friday. Boyle didn’t look much better than Wilson on Sunday. He went 7 of 14 for 33 yards and an interception. Wilson was 7 of 15 for 81 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

“When things aren’t getting done, change has got to be made,” Wilson said after the game. “And I understand that.”

The poor performance on Sunday came after changes were made on offense last week, including waiving running back Michael Carter, giving more snaps to youngsters such as tight end Jeremy Ruckert, running back Israel Abanikanda and wide receivers Xavier Gipson and Jason Brownlee, and moving offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett from the sideline to the booth.

None of it seemed to work.

Meanwhile, Rodgers is trying to make an unprecedented quick return from his torn achilles. He said he has his sights set on playing again next month – as long as he’s cleared by doctors and the Jets (4-6) are in playoff contention. Unless things improve dramatically on offense, though, the postseason will be little more than a pipe dream. The Jets have not made the playoffs in 12 straight seasons, the NFL’s longest active drought, and there is no reason to think their sputtering offense will improve under Boyle. The Jets did not bring in a viable replacement for Wilson when Rodgers went down injured, even though a trade for solid quarterbacks such as Jacoby Brissett or Joshua Dobbs may have been possible.

Boyle will get the chance now to try to right things for New York in place of Wilson, who was benched twice last season before the Jets pursued and acquired Rodgers in the offseason.

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“I thought Tim came in, he was decisive, he got rid of the ball,” Saleh said after the game. “He did some good things.”

The Jets are among the bottom of the NFL rankings in several categories on offense, including conversion percentage on both third down and in the red zone. New York went 0 for 11 on third down, but went 4 for 5 on fourth down against Buffalo. They scored their first touchdown on offense since 29 October on their only trip inside the Bills 20 on Sunday.

Wilson ranks 30 out of 31 qualified starters in QBR rating this season, the same position he occupied in his rookie season in 2021. He has won just 11 of his 31 starts in his first three seasons in the league and has thrown 21 touchdowns to 25 interceptions. Next season is the last year on his contract, after which his Jets career will almost certainly be over.

The Jets’ long-term plan had been for Wilson to learn on the sidelines before eventually taking over from Rodgers, who turns 40 next month. Those plans now appear to be over although Saleh said he still believes Wilson will have “a really good career in this league.”

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