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#pounditFriday, January 21, 2022

Mike White may have just taken Zach Wilson’s starting job

Mike White taking the field

Mike White was supposed to be a stand-in quarterback for the New York Jets until Zach Wilson got healthy again. White did so well in his NFL debut, however, that it will be hard for the team to remove him from the role.

White, a fifth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, torched the Cincinnati Bengals in Sunday’s comeback win. The 26-year-old threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns, albeit with two interceptions. The Jets even utilized him as a receiver, and he caught the two-point conversion after New York’s final touchdown to put them up three.

In light of such a remarkable showing, does White have a chance of keeping the job even after Wilson is healthy? Coach Robert Saleh certainly left the door open to that after the win.

Wilson is the No. 2 overall pick and the Jets have invested their future in him. He’ll be given every chance to succeed. However, he’d been intercepted nine times on the season, a worrying mark even for a rookie. Wilson also has yet to put together a 300-yard game, while White hit 400 yards in his very first start.

Wilson’s injury is not expected to keep him out too much longer. However, he’ll miss at least one more game, meaning White will get another chance to impress on Thursday against the Colts. If he looks good again, the Jets will have a decision to make, at least for the rest of the season.

In a best-case scenario, the Jets find out that White is a legitimate starting-quality NFL quarterback, and they’ll have options going forward. At worst, he turns out to be a flash in the pan, but at least they’d be finding that out now and could refocus on Wilson going forward. There’s not a lot of downside to letting White keep going.

Photo: New York Jets quarterback Mike White (5) runs onto the field for warmups before his first NFL start against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, in East Rutherford. Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

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