Jets bench QB Zach Wilson for Chris Streveler in game vs. Jaguars – USA TODAY

9aa23948 2fed 4b8d b2ce f59ea16fc7a1 4e91c846 74a6 48c6 9bb3 340ac294fa1f thumbnail


Given his performance this season, Zach Wilson being benched isn’t a newsflash anymore. 

But the quarterback who came in for the New York Jets was a bit of a surprise. 

The Jets activated Chris Streveler prior to Thursday night’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, giving the Jets three players at the position (Wilson and Joe Flacco, who was listed as the backup). 

Wilson’s struggles reached their apex in the third quarter, New York’s postseason hopes slipping with every dropback, and boos chorused through MetLife Stadium. Jets head coach Robert Saleh decided to give Streveler, the ex-Canadian Football League champion, a shot with his team down 16-3. 

The decision did not immediately change the Jets’ fortunes, but Streveler at least moved the Jets down the field before a turnover on downs and, more importantly, gave the home crowd who persevered through the rain and wind something to cheer about. 

Streveler returned to the field after the Jaguars’ ensuing series fizzled. Wilson’s final line: 9-for-18 for 92 yards with one interception. He was sacked three times.  

Though the Jets failed to score with him under center, Streveler nearly replicated Wilson’s passing line in a little over a quarter of work. He finished 10-for-15 for 90 yards, posting an 82.6 QB rating to Wilson’s 41.9. 

The Jaguars won the game, 19-3.  

Week 16 NFL picks: Eagles, Cowboys clash in NFC East battle on Christmas Eve

Sign up for our NFL newsletter: All the NFL news you need to know delivered right to you! 

Who is Chris Streveler? 

An Illinois native, Streveler began his collegiate career with Minnesota, where he played for three seasons.   

The 6-foot-1, 217-pound signal-caller transferred to South Dakota for his final two seasons and went undrafted in the 2018 draft. He signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and spent two seasons in the CFL, winning the Grey Cup with Winnipeg in 2019. 

From there, Streveler signed with the Arizona Cardinals and made his NFL debut on Sept. 13, 2020. The Cardinals waived him in November 2021 and he spent the rest of the season on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad. 

The Miami Dolphins signed him in February of this year and cut him three months later. 

Chris Streveler joins New York Jets

Streveler signed with the Jets at the beginning of training camp and impressed during the preseason. 

In three games, he finished with 277 passing yards, a 72.7 completion percentage, five touchdowns and a 120.9 passer rating while throwing two game-winning touchdown passes.

The Jets waived him before the start of the regular season but he returned to the practice squad.  

What Jets coach Robert Saleh said after game

Saleh cited a desire to “spark the run game” as his reasoning for inserting Streveler into the game. Streveler rushed for a team-high 54 yards on nine carries Thursday night. 

“One thing led to another, he gave us a spark and we just wanted to keep it going,” Saleh said. “It was meant to be a change-up initially.”  

Saleh said he feels that Wilson “has gotten better” since his return “but obviously we got to go show it on the football field. But, again, that’s a collective thing. It starts with the coaching. Either way, it wasn’t close to good enough today.”  

What Zach Wilson said after game

“Right now the feeling is I just got to put my head down and try to get better for these guys,” Wilson said after the game. “That’s kind of my message to them out there. I’m trying to give them everything I got. I’m trying to lay it out there for you guys and it’s not good enough. I got to put them in a better position.” 

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.