FLORHAM PARK, NJ – Joe Flacco is back with the New York Jets and he can see himself leading the offense on the field as a starting quarterback shortly.
If only for a few parts.
The 36-year-old veteran was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday in exchange for a conditional sixth-round pick. The Jets needed backup at quarterback as rookie Zach Wilson will be sidelined for a few weeks with a knee ligament injury.
It is therefore Mike White who inherits the role of starting quarterback for the moment. He will get his first start on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. He will be supported by 35-year-old veteran Josh Johnson who has been promoted from the reserve team. Flacco will not be available on Sunday as he only joined the team on Friday.
Going forward, there is nothing certain in the hierarchy of quarterbacks in the Jets.
“Well, you should probably talk to the head coach and the offensive coordinator to find out what their plan is,” Flacco said on Friday. I think I see myself playing eventually, in the next few weeks. But I don’t really know what they have in mind. “
The Jets will have a decision to make, probably by Saturday afternoon, on the status of Wilson who could end up on the injured list. The latter suffered from an elongation in the posterior cruciate ligament of the right knee. He should be away for two to four weeks. If medics believe he will be able to come back after just two games, he should not be placed on the injured list.
However, if his recovery seems to be closer to three weeks, the Jets could give him those three weeks of complete rest to watch his teammates.
The move could open the door for Flacco, especially if White struggles with the Bengals. The Jets will also be in Indianapolis next Thursday to face the Colts and Flacco could then be ready to jump on the field to lead the attack.
“I played long enough to be able, let’s say, to adapt as best as I can to be ready as quickly as possible,” he said.
Flacco was with the Jets last season and started four games replacing starting quarterback Sam Darnold when he was injured. Negotiations were held to have him stay with the team, but Flacco preferred the Eagles’ offer because he believed he had a better chance at playing.
At the same time, the Jets traded Darnold to the Carolina Panthers before selecting Wilson second in the draft in April. General manager Joe Douglas had been criticized for not hiring a veteran quarterback to play the role of mentor to Wilson.
They now have Flacco, but the operation will have cost them a draft pick.
“I’m going to take on this role (of mentor),” Flacco promised. But at the same time, I think I’m here, let’s say in the short term, to help the team as best I can on the pitch. “
Put bluntly, that means Flacco wants to play, which he hasn’t been able to do with the Eagles since Jalen Hurts got the start in the first seven games of the season.
On the other hand, the Jets are happy to see White get a first start on Sunday and he should continue to be given the ball if he plays well.
If not, Flacco will be ready to take over to stabilize an attack that ranks among the worst in the NFL in the majority of important stats.
Flacco threw 224 touchdown passes in 14 NFL seasons with the Ravens, Broncos, Jets and Eagles. The 2012 Super Bowl MVP says he’s excited to join several former teammates and have another chance to jump on the field.