Jets starting Tim Boyle at QB vs. Dolphins on Friday in place of the benched Zach Wilson

Jets starting Tim Boyle at QB vs. Dolphins on Friday in place of the benched Zach Wilson

(AP) Zach Wilson is out — again — and Tim Boyle is next up at quarterback for the New York Jets.

Boyle will start against the Miami Dolphins on Friday, replacing the struggling Wilson.

Coach Robert Saleh announced the decision Monday to go with Boyle over Wilson, who took over as the starter when Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon four snaps into his debut with New York on Sept. 11.

“A different style of quarterback,” Saleh said. “So, really it’s just an opportunity to see if we can do something with the offense.”
It will be the 29-year-old Boyle’s fourth NFL start and his first since 2021 with the Detroit Lions.

Saleh said veteran Trevor Siemian, currently on the practice squad, will serve as Boyle’s backup against the Dolphins, with Wilson the No. 3 quarterback.

Wilson and the Jets’ offense have struggled mightily this season, and Saleh pulled the 2021 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 in the NFL’s first game played on Black Friday.

Boyle went 7 of 14 for 33 yards and an interception after replacing Wilson, who was 7 of 15 for 81 yards and a touchdown and an INT.

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

The poor performance came after some 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 a booth.

None of it seemed to work.

“It’s been all the way across the board,” Saleh said of the struggles on offense. “We made a lot of changes, tried to go a little bit younger. …

“Zach, obviously, it’s not all him. But there are things he needs to be better at and this is just another situation to see if we can get another guy an opportunity, to see if something can change.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers is trying to make an unprecedented quick return from his torn Achilles tendon. 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 might be little more than a pipe dream. The Jets have not made the playoffs in 12 straight seasons, the NFL’s longest active drought.

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.

“The main thing that stuck out with Tim is his confidence in the huddle,” tight end Tyler Conklin said. “He came in the huddle and commanded the huddle really well. He was decisive getting the ball out of his hands and got the ball out of his hands quick.”

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. The Jets scored their first touchdown on offense since Oct. 29 on their only trip inside the Bills 20 on Sunday.

Boyle was signed in 2018 as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Kentucky by Green Bay, where he was a teammate of Rodgers for three seasons. He signed with Detroit in 2021 and started three games that season for the Lions — his only previous starts. Boyle was signed by Chicago off Detroit’s practice squad in November 2022 and spent the rest of the season with the Bears.

He has thrown for 607 yards and three TDs with nine interceptions in 18 NFL games.

New York Jets quarterback Tim Boyle meets with reporters after the team’s NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023. The Bills won 32-6. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes )