Zach Wilson has earned a promotion, but not the one he likely wants most.
Wilson will function as the Jets' No. 2 quarterback in Week 15, coach Robert Saleh told reporters Wednesday.
The QB's promotion arrives on the heels of a rough performance from veteran Joe Flacco, who briefly stepped in for Mike White in Sunday's loss to Buffalo, completing 1 of 3 passes and fumbling away a possession before White returned from his ribs injury. Saleh said the timing of the decision was simply a coincidence, explaining Wilson has shown enough improvement on the practice field since his benching to earn the backup job.
Wilson told reporters Wednesday that he believes in himself and still has confidence despite his benching, but knows he has to prove it on the field.
"The biggest thing for me mentally was finding the fun in football," Wilson explained, via ESPN's Rich Cimini. "I love this game. It definitely wasn't lost, but I think you guys felt the frustration over some of those rough games."
Saleh's decision might lead one to believe Wilson is closer to regaining the starting job he lost after struggling through most of his starts this season. The coach pushed back on this notion Wednesday, stressing that while the Jets intend to help Wilson return to the field at some point, "this is Mike White's opportunity," per The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt.
White has invigorated New York's offense since taking over as the starter, tossing three touchdowns in a 315-yard performance amid a driving rain in his first game back in Week 12. However, since then, the Jets have lost two straight, and White owns a 0-2 TD-INT ratio in those games.
New York has lost three of its last four games and fallen to last place in the rugged AFC East, increasing pressure on the upstart Jets to get back on track with one month remaining. They meet the white-hot Detroit Lions on Sunday in a game both teams will be desperate to win.
Unlike the last two weeks, Wilson will spend Sunday in uniform. He'll hope to watch -- or perhaps help -- his team end its losing streak.