Mike White cleared to play, will start for NY Jets in Seattle

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By: Geoff Magliocchetti

NY Jets QB Mike White is set to return under center for the first instance of meaningful green football in January in quite some time

The New York Jets earned a few Christmas miracles over the weekend. It turns out that Boxing Day could provide its own bit of magic as well.

Per Brian Costello of the New York Post, quarterback Mike White has been cleared to play in next week’s crucial interconference showdown against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, Fox). White has reportedly been granted the starting duties as the Jets (7-8) embark upon the final stages of an improbable playoff push.

Statistically speaking, White has been far and away the Jets’ most reliable quarterback. Though he’s only 1-2 as a starter, White has amassed an 85.8 passer rating and has thrown for over 317 yards per game since taking over for futile franchise man Zach Wilson.

Injuries have prevented White from earning a more permanent prescience in the Jets offense. He has missed each of the past two games (both Wilson-overseen losses) with a rib injury sustained in Week 14’s narrow loss in Buffalo, one that required a precautionary hospital visit before the Jets returned home.

Previously, White followed up last season’s record-breaking performance against the future AFC champions from Cincinnati with a starting opportunity in Indianapolis, but a forearm injury knocked him out early. He now has, perhaps, a prime opportunity to create a lasting impression as the Jets remain in the thick of the AFC Wild Card hunt.

Though Thursday’s 19-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars (which carried on an active four-game losing streak) seemingly struck down any remaining New York playoff hopes, holiday weekend results re-opened the possibilities. As it stands, the Jets sit one game behind the seventh-place Miami Dolphins (8-7) for the final AFC wild card thanks to the latter’s Sunday loss to Green Bay. The Jets will play the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in the final week of the regular season.

The Jets are one of four 7-8 teams chasing the Dolphins and are second on that list in terms of playoff positioning. They lose out to New England thanks to a loss in the head-to-head tiebreaker but beat out Tennesse and Pittsburgh thanks to win percentage advantages in common games and conference games respectively.

New England hosts Miami on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) while Tennessee hosts the playoff-bound Dallas Cowboys in this week’s Thursday night tilt (8:15 p.m. ET, Amazon Prime Video). Pittsburgh’s Sunday divisional showdown with the Baltimore Ravens was recently flexed into the Sunday night slot (8:15 p.m. ET, NBC).

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

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