He looked like he was on his way after a scintillating debut against the Cincinnati Bengals, wherein he threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns.
However, he had a crash course on how tough the NFL could be after an early exit during their Thursday Night Football encounter with the Indianapolis Colts.
"It's frustrating, especially when the first two drives went so well"
Mike White discusses the frustrations with not getting to complete tonight's game, and adds this injury "isn't the end of the road by any means" pic.twitter.com/DlBFqSNVka
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 5, 2021
His chase of Manning came to a temporary halt after suffering an injury on his right forearm by the opening quarter.
White finished the game with seven completions for 95 yards and a touchdown pass to Elijah Moore.
It can be argued that the game’s outcome might be different if he played until the final whistle.
A Historic Debut
Reviewing all sportsbooks would reveal that most bets were for the Bengals to win against the Jets in Week 8.
It was a safe wager because Cincinnati was 5-2 and were winners of two straight coming into the game.
Meanwhile, the Jets were at 1-5 and lost starting quarterback Zach Wilson to injury.
But White didn’t care if they were the underdogs because he came out to play.
Man Mike White looks like he is just having fun. Good for that young man👏👏
— Dan Orlovsky (@danorlovsky7) November 5, 2021
Not only did he have a solid performance, but it was also one for the record books.
He became the first Jets quarterback since Vinny Testaverde to throw for at least 400 passing yards in a game.
White is also the second quarterback since Cam Newton to tally over 400 yards in their NFL debut.
Jets-Colts if Mike White didn’t get hurt… pic.twitter.com/rXTNkSyKsK
— NFL Memes (@NFL_Memes) November 5, 2021
His 37 completions were also the most by any quarterback in their first start.
These feats prompted the Pro Football Hall of Fame to add his game-worn jersey and the game ball from his record-setting debut.
White’s Second Start Turned Black
White felt his forearm stiffen after throwing a touchdown pass to Moore.
As a result, he sat out the rest of the game because he couldn’t apply a proper grip on the ball.
He felt better as the game progressed, but the stiff feeling returned during the fourth quarter.
Mike White is questionable to return with a right forearm injury
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 5, 2021
It was a foregone conclusion that the Jets would suffer their sixth loss in eight games by that time.
Carson Wentz burned them with 272 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
Jonathan Taylor had a field day from the backfield with 172 rushing yards and a touchdown as well.
Quarterback Controversy Looming?
Despite their defeat, third-string quarterback Josh Johnson filled in admirably for White.
The journeyman play-caller finished with 27 completions for 317 yards and three touchdowns.
Such a performance might create a dilemma on head coach Robert Saleh’s mind on who to start in Week 10 against the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills.
He can’t ignore Johnson’s performance against a decent Indianapolis defense.
— NFL (@NFL) November 5, 2021
Meanwhile, White played admirably until the injury because he led the Jets to a 75-yard touchdown drive and misfired just four passes.
To make things more complicated, Wilson might get the green light to rejoin practices, making him eligible to play too.
Those considerations will weigh heavily on Saleh’s mind as they face their division rivals.
"That's for you guys to talk about"
Robert Saleh on the Jets' quarterback situation: pic.twitter.com/YI7s5GiQte
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 1, 2021
But if it helps, Saleh must start White against Buffalo because he’s their best chance to pull off an upset.
The former Western Kentucky stalwart looked unfazed despite tough competition, and they will need that mentality against MVP candidate Josh Allen.