When the New York Jets take the field against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, they'll reportedly have a veteran quarterback starting the game for the first time this season.
According to ESPN's Rich Cimini, the Jets will be starting Joe Flacco at quarterback in Week 11 instead of Mike White or their still-injured, first-round draft pick Zach Wilson.
BREAKING: In a surprise, the Jets are planning to start Joe Flacco vs Miami, source tells ESPN. Zach Wilson still not 100%. Flacco’s experience likely a big factor in the decision, facing blitz-heavy D. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) November 17, 2021
White was tossed directly into the fire in Week 7 when he was called on to replace Wilson, who had injured his knee, in the middle of the game. His results have differed wildly in the three games he's started. In his first NFL start in Week 8, he completed 37 of 45 passes for 405 yards and threw three touchdowns in a 34-31 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. We didn't see a ton of White in Week 9 as he was removed early in the game with a forearm injury. But in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills, he completed 24 of 44 passes and threw four interceptions en route to a 45-17 drubbing. After that performance, fans began calling for Flacco to start.
Now it seems they'll get their wish. Flacco, 36, is in his 14th season in the NFL and spent the first 11 years of his career as the starter for the Baltimore Ravens. For the last three years he's been serving as a veteran backup and even started four games for the Jets in 2020 when Sam Darnold was sick.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed Flacco as a backup during the offseason, but the Jets traded for him after Wilson injured his knee. Flacco didn't make it into a game for the Eagles, but he's already seen a little action for the Jets, playing a bit in Week 10's loss to the Bills. He attempted three passes and completed all three for 47 yards and a touchdown.
Joe Flacco says he's not vaccinated, doesn't want to be distraction
Flacco was asked about his COVID-19 vaccination status. He confirmed he was not vaccinated, but added he didn't want to be a distraction by discussing the issue.
#Jets QB Joe Flacco says he is not vaccinated — why he’s wearing a mask
Says he “has his reasons” and would like to talk about this topic, but “overall I feel like it’s more of a distraction” to talk about it.
So he prefers not to give his beliefs & instead just play football
— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) November 17, 2021
Unvaccinated players have to follow more strict COVID-19 protocols throughout the season. Those protocols include being masked when speaking with reporters during indoor interviews.
Flacco apparently did not follow that protocol when speaking with reporters in October.
— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) November 17, 2021
The NFL will likely look into the situation. If the league determines Flacco violated COVID-19 protocol, he and the Jets could face fines.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers were fined by the league in November after it determined Rodgers violated COVID-19 protocols during the 2021 season. The Packers received a $300,000 fine. Rodgers had to pay $14,560.