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Trevor Siemian to Return for Jets As Zach Wilson Recovers from Concussion

Trevor Siemian (Credits: Justin Edmonds/Getty)

With Zach Wilson still in concussion protocol, the New York Jets will start Trevor Siemian on Sunday against the Washington Commanders, marking the team’s third quarterback change in the past five weeks.

Siemian might also start next week due to the quick turnaround. Wilson could be sidelined again on Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns.

Coach Robert Saleh hasn’t ruled out Wilson for the Cleveland game, but acknowledged the challenge posed by the short week. “It does make it a challenge that it’s a Thursday game,” he said on Friday. “He’s got to clear some hurdles over the weekend. It’s going to be one of those where we’ll see.”

Siemian is the Jets’ fourth different starter this season, which is unusual even for them. The last time they started this many quarterbacks in a single season was in 1989, when they ended with a 4-12 record using Ken O’Brien, Pat Ryan, Kyle Mackey, and Tony Eason.

For Saleh, this will be his sixth different starter in three years, contributing to the Jets’ 32nd ranking in scoring and 31st in total yards over that period. Saleh’s record stands at 16-32.

Currently, the Jets have four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster, which is unusual. Wilson and Aaron Rodgers (Achilles) will be inactive for the game, leaving Brett Rypien—signed on Dec. 5—as the backup to Siemian. Although Rodgers was ruled out for the season, he was activated from injured reserve to continue practicing with the team.

“[I’m] super grateful,” said Siemian, who hasn’t won a start in six years. “At this point in my career especially, any chance I get to play is awesome.”

The Jets (5-9), missing the playoffs for the 13th straight season, have been plagued by quarterback instability due to two injuries (Rodgers and Wilson), two benchings (Wilson and Tim Boyle), and one release (Boyle).

Trevor Siemian (Credits: Steve Nehf)

On Dec. 6, Saleh announced that Wilson, who had been inactive for the previous two games, would start for the rest of the season. “God willing,” Saleh said. However, Wilson lasted less than six quarters before leaving the game before halftime in last Sunday’s 30-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Wilson, the No. 2 pick in 2021, took several hard hits and experienced blurred vision and depth-perception issues, his mother, Lisa Wilson, announced on social media the next day. She noted he had symptoms throughout the game but continued to play until he was flagged by the NFL’s independent certified athletic trainer (spotter) in the media box.

Siemian, 31, has 30 career starts, most of them with the Denver Broncos, but he hasn’t won a game since 2017, his final season as a full-time starter. He is currently on a six-game losing streak, with his last start being a 31-10 loss for the Chicago Bears against the Jets last season.

He joined the Jets’ practice squad on Sept. 26, two weeks after Rodgers tore his Achilles in the opener. Initially considered an emergency option, Siemian climbed up the depth chart as quarterback issues mounted.

“It’s not too big for him,” said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. “He prepares really well. I think for the situation, for the lack of practice, he’s done a pretty good job of running the huddle.”

Siemian has come off the bench twice with little success, completing only 19 of 39 passes for 176 yards, with two interceptions and five sacks. In nine drives, he has yet to lead the offense to any points.

Siemian has actually started one game for the Jets. It happened in 2019, when he replaced Sam Darnold (mononucleosis) in Week 2. He lasted less than a half after breaking an ankle from a hit by Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.

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