Mike White’s storybook career as a quarterback for the New York Jets was interrupted Thursday night with a right forearm injury in the first quarter, but the team expects him to recover next week, which will That means a great quarterback decision for coach Robert Saleh.
The Jets, dominated by the Indianapolis Colts in a 45-30 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium, also suffered a crushing injury on defense. The team fears safety Marcus Maye, one of its best players, has ruptured his Achilles tendon, a season-ending injury.
“I’m sick for him,” Saleh said. “It doesn’t look good.”
Maye tweeted after the game, saying good wishes and that his teammates “Hang on!”
Leaning on my faith. Pray for me and wish the best for me! I love my teammates more than you know! Hold it down! I’ll be fine, God got me! 🙏🏾
– Marcus Maye (@alldayMAYE) November 5, 2021
It was still a competitive game on White’s final play, a 19-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore that made it 7-7. When White returned to the sideline, his forearm stiffened and he was unable to catch the ball. White said he’s not sure when the injury occurred, but he felt it after the goal shot.
The sensation in his arm began to return in the fourth quarter, but the game was almost decided by then. Third crossbar Josh Johnson performed well in relief, throwing three touchdown passes.
“We feel good that he’s recovered over the weekend and is ready for next week,” Saleh said of White, who made his second start for the injured Zach Wilson (sprained knee). Wilson should also be ready for practice, sparking potential quarterback controversy.
Saleh refused to shake hands. “We’ll see,” he said. “It is the day to day.”
White, the former practice squad player who thrilled the Jets and their fanbase last week with a 405-yard passing day in his starting debut, did nothing to lose the spot. In his shortened outing, he completed seven of 11 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. On his second possession, he hit four passes to lead a 75-yard touchdown drive. And then he got hurt.
“He got progressively better throughout the game,” White said. “It feels better now, but over the course of the game, I couldn’t get enough grip and power to help the team.”
Saleh has not committed to his quarterback plans, prompting intense speculation. Wilson, second in the draft, is the future of the franchise, but he was struggling at the time of his injury. Meanwhile, White set a record for most completions (37) by a quarterback in his first start.
“It is not the end of the road by any means,” he said. “It’s not a season-ending injury. I’ll be able to play when they call my number again.”
White, already a fan favorite, said it was “frustrating” because the offense got off to a good start. The offense continued to click even after he left, producing 486 total yards. It was the defense that melted, allowing the Colts to score on eight of 11 possessions.
The injury capped a dizzying week for White, whose jersey worn from last Sunday’s game was displayed at the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
“That will be something that I can take my kids to see when they don’t think I ever played in the NFL,” he smiled.
Johnson, who has played for 13 teams and saw significant action for the first time since 2018, set his career highs with three passing touchdowns and 317 yards, but is not considered a starting option.
The Jets also have veteran Joe Flacco, whom they acquired in a trade last week because of Wilson’s injury. He was inactive for the second game in a row. Saleh, highlighting the short week, said there wasn’t enough practice time to prepare Flacco for a backup role.