Robert Saleh backs New York Jets by acquiring unvaccinated QB Joe Flacco, describes the business as “playing with house money”

FLORHAM PARK, NJ – The New York Jets’ recent trade for substitute quarterback Joe Flacco raised questions at the time of the deal, and those questions are more important now than Flacco, who said last week that he was not vaccinated, is on reserve / COVID-19 list.

Even though Flacco is set to miss Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans – this will be the third time he’s been inactive since the October 25 trade – coach Robert Saleh has defended the team’s decision to acquire a quarterback unvaccinated for a sixth-round pick in 2022..

“I’ll stand that forever: when someone comes up with a sixth round pick for a player of Joe’s caliber, for me there’s no risk,” Saleh said Wednesday. “You’re playing with the house money. I’ve said it before: you can swap places and grab that sixth-round pick quickly.

“I know we’re looking at draft capital, but it’s an easy decision. He’s a proven quarterback, a Super Bowl quarterback, a record holder, a guy who can settle an offense. he has to step in, which he did on Sunday. He did a phenomenal job against the Miami pressure system. That, in and of itself, is worth its weight in gold. “

Flacco, 36, had 291 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, but he was back on the bench this week because rookie Zach Wilson – out the last four games with sprained knee – was cleared to start against the Texans.

The Jets (2-8) will remove Josh Johnson from the practice squad to serve as a replacement because Flacco and Mike White were placed on the COVID-19 roster on Tuesday.

White tested positive and was excluded from the game. Flacco has not tested positive; he was close contact. Because he is not vaccinated, Flacco must test negative for five consecutive days after his last contact before he can return to the team. This means he could be cleared on Saturday. If he had been vaccinated, he would have been allowed to stay with the team and train.

Flacco also had to clear five days of protocols during his trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, which came a day after Wilson’s injury. Due to the delay, he didn’t have enough time to prepare for the Oct. 31 game against the Cincinnati Bengals and, over a short week, the Nov. 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Jets traded for Flacco, a former Super Bowl MVP with the Baltimore Ravens, because they wanted a veteran experience behind Wilson.

During Wilson’s absence, White started three games, impressively beating the Bengals but losing the next two. (He injured his forearm and only played a quarterback against the Colts.) It was widely believed he would start against Miami, but Saleh pulled off a stun and went for Flacco.

Flacco would have been Wilson’s replacement on Sunday, but that seems unlikely. Saleh suggested it would be in an emergency. He alluded to the Thanksgiving holiday when the number of positive tests could increase. If Wilson or Johnson ends up on the COVID-19 list, they could fly from Flacco to Houston on Saturday or Sunday.

“It is possible that he will be there on Sunday,” Saleh said. “We’re riding with Josh unless something else happens this holiday season, so we’re going to leave that door open.”

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