Zach Wilson’s season has been putrid enough, but CBS may have made it even worse by airing a highlight of the New York Jets quarterback tripping on the field.
With six minutes left in the second quarter, Wilson led New York’s offense back onto the field while trailing the Buffalo Bills 9-0. And as he jogged toward the huddle, Wilson backpedaled and tripped over a blade of grass or something, tumbling to the ground. This isn’t the first time a Jets quarterback was on the ground in embarrassment during Thanksgiving week.
But unlike Mark Sanchez’s notorious butt fumble, the audience at home didn’t need to know Wilson fell on the field, because it happened before the drive began. CBS, however, opted to highlight the blunder with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo joining the Jets sideline in getting a good chuckle at the quarterback. The decision to air the gaffe left Boomer Esiason a little surprised.
Boomer Esiason thinks it’s time for the Jets to release Zach Wilson. pic.twitter.com/vNNvjWZpVm
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) November 20, 2023
Esiason explained that while sitting on the set of The NFL Today, they’re watching CBS’s live game feed even during commercial breaks. So when CBS cameras captured Wilson falling on the field during a break, The NFL Today crew caught it live.
“We’re sitting there, and we all see the shot of Zach Wilson falling,” Esiason recalled on his WFAN radio show Monday morning. “I gotta be honest, I think we’ve all done this, believe it or not. Maybe they just didn’t catch it when we were playing, I think I probably did it a couple of times! But under the current set of circumstances and under what’s going on with the Jets and what’s going on with Zach, we were all wondering, are they going to show that?”
Esiason said he somewhat jokingly asked the producer to put the clip of Wilson falling into a highlight package for the CBS halftime show. But CBS had other ideas, and decided to run it during the game broadcast for Nantz and Romo to react to.
“We were not gonna do it halftime, just simply because, why rub salt in the wound?” Esiason claimed. “But I have to tell you, I was a little bit shocked they ran it in the body of the game, that they actually showed it.”
Esiason may have been a little shocked, but imagine if CBS had this amazing highlight of Wilson and attempted to keep it under wraps? As a microcosm of Wilson’s NFL career to date, tripping over his own feet might be a lasting image of his Jets tenure. It wasn’t quite butt fumble-level embarrassing, but it’s still a bad look when the most notable thing Wilson did during Sunday’s loss against Buffalo was trip over himself.