Jets need to rally around Zach Wilson

Before Monday night, the plan in New York was to ride with Aaron Rodgers and transition eventually to Zach Wilson. The plan has gotten accelerated. A bit.

So what now? As the Jets consider their options for bolstering the quarterback room, they need to consider the bigger question of whether they're looking for an understudy or a potential replacement.

Certain veterans could be interested in a path to playing for reasons other than injury. Given Wilson's past struggles, players like Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz might not be willing to accept a back seat to a player who is viewed as a top-two pick turned bust.

The Jets believe that Wilson can change his personal football narrative. Coach Robert Saleh spoke on Tuesday about Wilson's growth over the past year.

Here's what Saleh needs to be saying, loudly. Wilson won the game on Monday night.

If this was indeed one of the most devastating Week One injuries of all time — and it was — Wilson was thrust into one of the toughest spots of all time. Unexpectedly, suddenly. and with not the same preparation he'll have this week. And what did he do? He made plays. He made enough plays to win the game.

They can win with Wilson. That's the takeaway. They beat the Buffalo Bills with Zach Wilson.

And now the Jets go from hunted to hunters. From Super Bowl aspirations to "let's just hold it together." They have nothing to lose at this point, because everyone thinks they've already lost it.

They can't afford to think that. They need to forget about the Hard Knocks Jets. That's over. Aaron Rodgers won't be playing again this year. It's Zach Wilson, unless and until Wilson is injured or benched.

There's no reason to plan his benching pre-emptively. Their next move at quarterback will show whether they're serious about making Wilson the guy, or whether they're hoping to re-inject the franchise into the Super Bowl conversation.

As to the latter possibility, which available quarterback would do that? Unless they swing a trade for a starter (maybe the Vikings would take a first-round pick and a player for Kirk Cousins), it's not happening. Even if the Jets make a trade for a starter, it's too much to recapture the vibe that died when Rodgers went down.

So forget about the Rodgers-led Jets. That plane has flown. Wilson is the guy. Saleh and company need to be saying it internally and externally, to anyone who will listen and everyone who won't.