After his season-ending (maybe?) injury in Week 1, Aaron Rodgers was replaced as New York Jets starting quarterback by Zach Wilson. Now, three weeks later he has been replaced as one of New York’s team captains.
But Wilson, a captain last season, didn’t get this call.
Instead, coach Robert Saleh announced Friday that All-Pro defensive tackle Quinnen Williams will join linebacker C.J. Mosley and special teams ace Justin Hardee as captain.
Saleh explained that Williams finished fourth in captain’s voting prior to the season opener and had a “significant” vote total. That was good enough for the coach to have him replace Rodgers, even though it means the Jets do not have a captain on offense.
“After just thinking about it, I was like, ‘Why not?’” Saleh said. “The guy’s such a vocal leader on this team. He says all the right things, he does all the right things. He stands for everything we believe in.”
Coach Saleh on making DT Quinnen Williams an additional permanent captain. pic.twitter.com/1lFoQOlrGk
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 29, 2023
Williams, a first-round pick by the Jets in 2019, had a breakout season in 2022. He had 12 sacks and was named First-Team All-Pro. The 25-year-old then landed a massive new contract this summer.
Though he doesn’t have a sack yet this season, Williams has 12 QB pressures and has been a force against the run and pass, often taking on double teams. Williams is extremely respected by his teammates on both sides of the ball.
Your 2023 New York Jets captains
-Justin Hardee pic.twitter.com/2gWYQk4uXJ
— JetNation (@JetNation) September 4, 2023
The Jets do select a different player each week to be the fourth captain. Williams was the Week 1 selection, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Saleh chooses an offensive player regularly so that part of the team is represented each week. Young star Garrett Wilson would appear to be in line for that opportunity, as would veterans Tyler Conklin, Randall Cobb, Laken Tomlinson and Connor McGovern.
And if Wilson can straighten out his game, it would be a natural fit to have the QB be a captain, at least once.
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