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Jets HC Robert Saleh declines to name Week 12 starting QB after benching Zach Wilson in loss to Bills

Despite making a change at quarterback during Sunday afternoon's loss, head coach Robert Saleh said post-game that he has not decided which of his QBs will be the Week 12 starter against the Miami Dolphins.

The New York Jets lost to the Buffalo Bills, 32-6, on Sunday, during which Saleh made the decision to take out starting quarterback Zach Wilson late in the third quarter and put in backup Tim Boyle. Saleh told reporters that he did not have an answer yet as to who would start for the Jets on Black Friday. It was the first time since Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles in Week 1 that Saleh indicated anyone other than Wilson could be the starter.

Saleh has been staunch in his support of Wilson despite offensive struggles and overwhelming criticism.

But with the Jets trailing 29-6 late in the third quarter, they finally made a change. Boyle came into the game and Wilson went to the bench, finishing his night 7-of-15 passing (46.7%) for 81 yards with a touchdown and an interception, recording a 57.9 passer rating. It marked his lowest single-game completion percentage in 2023, and his second game with a passer rating below 60.0 this year.

Wilson's Sunday performance came with a bit of good -- leading a touchdown drive to break a 41-drive TD-less streak for the Jets -- and a good amount of bad -- a second-quarter interception that led to a Buffalo touchdown -- before he headed to the bench with just over a quarter left and his team down by multiple scores.

When asked about the thought process behind bringing in Boyle at this point, Saleh said that with the score being what it was he was just looking for something to get going on offense, which totaled just 155 yards on the afternoon.

"Like I said, it was 29-6, and like I said, like I told Zach on the sidelines, it's not just him," Saleh said. "It's easy to point the finger at the quarterback, but it's pretty easy to see you've got missed protections, you've got dropped balls, you've got missed routes. Obviously he's got to get better, there's things that he could have done a lot better, but it's everyone now."

Boyle was 7-of-14 passing for 33 yards in relief, leading three drives that ended in a fumble, punt, and interception. He has started three games in his five-year career, and has a 0-3 record in those contests. Saleh also would not rule out going with practice squad QB Trevor Siemian, who has a 13-17 record as a starter, but has started only five games since 2021 and lost them all.

But the Jets won't wait too long to make a choice of direction, as with this week's short rest before facing the Dolphins on Friday, Saleh said they'd make a decision Monday after going through the film of Sunday's loss.

Whether it ends up being Boyle who follows up his short stint, Wilson retaking the reins or Siemian as the dark horse, the Jets' starting quarterback will have just a few days to prepare before New York faces the high-flying Miami Dolphins (7-3).

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