Trevor Siemian celebrated his 32nd birthday by getting the call to start again for the New York Jets.
Zach Wilson remained in the concussion protocol Tuesday and coach Robert Saleh announced Siemian will be under center for the second consecutive game when the Jets face the Browns in Cleveland on Thursday night (8:15 p.m. ET).
Siemian was 27-of-49 for 217 yards with a touchdown pass to Jason Brownlee and an interception in New York’s 30-28 victory over Washington on Sunday. He was 3-for-5 for 26 yards while helping lead the Jets on their final drive that was capped by Greg Zuerlein’s game-winning 54-yard field goal.
“Trev did some nice things in the game,” Saleh said. “He’s got so much play time under his belt, so it was great to just have a conversation with him and his recognition that he could’ve even done better. So, obviously, it is a short week, but he’ll prepare the way he needs to.”
Wilson suffered a concussion in the first half of New York’s 30-0 loss at Miami last Sunday. He hasn’t practiced since and it’s uncertain if he’ll be cleared to play in the season finale at New England on Jan. 7.
“We’ll see,” Saleh said. “The most important thing is for him to get rid of all these symptoms and him progressing. That’s first and foremost, obviously.”
For now, the offense will be led by Siemian, who helped the Jets score 17 points in the first quarter against Washington. It was New York’s biggest opening quarter since it also had 17 in a win over Pittsburgh in 2014. But the offense stalled a bit in the second half, when the Commanders rallied to erase a 20-point deficit and briefly took the lead before Zuerlein’s winner.
“When it was good, it was good,” Siemian said. “We had a good rhythm in the first half, obviously had some short fields, but like everyone else, we’re just trying to find that consistency and stay in that flow. And if we do that, we have a chance.”
Cleveland’s defense is ranked No. 1 overall in the NFL, and New York will have its hands full against a pass rush led by Myles Garrett. In a full circle moment, it’ll be Siemian’s second career start against the Browns and first since his first stint with the Jets when he suffered a season-ending ankle injury on a hit by Garrett early in the second quarter of a 23-3 loss in Week 2 of the 2019 season.
“It’s part of the game, obviously, but not a lot of great memories from that night,” Siemian said. “I think I played a quarter and then that happened. Yeah, not one of the highlights of my career, for sure.”
NOTES: Saleh said Zuerlein is dealing with tightness in his right quadriceps and didn’t practice Tuesday, so he’s uncertain to play Thursday night. The Jets will see how the kicker, who’s 30-for-31 on field-goal attempts this season, feels before determining if they need to sign someone to potentially fill in for Zuerlein. TE Jeremy Ruckert (concussion) has also been ruled out.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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