Jets starting Tim Boyle at QB vs. Dolphins in place of the benched Zach Wilson, AP sources say

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Tim Boyle will be the New York Jets’ starting quarterback against the Miami Dolphins on Friday, two people familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

Boyle replaces the benched Zach 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.

It will be the 29-year-old Boyle’s fourth NFL start and his first since 2021 with the Detroit Lions. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Monday because the team hasn’t announced the decision, which was first reported by NFL Network.

Wilson and the Jets’ offense have struggled mightily this season, and coach Robert 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 Sunday 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.

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. Veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian is also on New York’s practice squad.

“I thought Tim came in, he was decisive, he got rid of the ball,” Saleh said after the game. “He did some good things.”

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.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL

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