There may be a whole lot of White noise entering Thursday night.
With Zach Wilson recovering from a knee injury, the Jets turned to quarterback Mike White in Week 8 for the start, helping lead Gang Green to a stunning, shocking, spooky 34-31 win over the red-hot Bengals.
What White did was, actually, historic: Throwing for over 400 yards and three touchdowns, White became the first NFL passer to do that in his debut in league history.
But long before the Jets backup was throwing short and underneath routes that resulted in aberrational and unsustainable passing production, he was taking snaps on the New York practice squad, which, for him, might as well have been a taxi squad.
Here’s what you need to know about White:
Who is Mike White?
White, 26, was a fifth-round pick of the Cowboys in 2018. Prior to landing in the NFL, White was the quarterback at South Florida (2013-2014) before transferring to Western Kentucky, starting with the Hilltoppers between 2016 and 2017.
White’s draft stock rose but a mediocre NFL Combine showing couldn’t vault him beyond the fifth round, when he was selected by the Cowboys with the 171st overall pick.
After sticking with the Cowboys in 2018, he was waived by the team in 2019. The Cowboys opted not to add him to their practice squad, instead signing former Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson to the team’s practice squad. In September 2019, White was added to the Jets’ practice squad, and in December signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets.
Things got a bit weird for White in 2020, so try and keep up: On Sept. 5, he was waived and signed to the practice squad the next day. He was promoted to the actice roster on Sept. 12. He was waived on Oct. 1, re-signing to the practice squad on Oct. 5. He was elevated to the active roster in two following games, reverting to the practice squad following each game.
It didn’t end there: On Nov. 9, he was elevated to the active roster again, and then waived the following day. He re-signed with the practice squad on Nov. 11. He was promoted to the active roster again on Nov. 23, waived and returned the practice squad following that.
In January 2021, White signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets. After an offseason of debate to whether or not the Jets should have made a move for a veteran backup QB, the New York front office opted not to, instead relying on White for the QB2 job. Josh Johnson would later sign with the team’s practice squad.
With Zach Wilson injured during a Week 7 matchup with the Patriots, White made his NFL debut, throwing 202 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions in the blowout loss. In Week 8, White made his NFL starting debut, and proceeded to set the world on fire, throwing 405 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a win over the Bengals.
White’s performance was historic: He’s the first debuting passer to throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns in NFL history. Those numbers landed White’s jersey from that Halloween game in Canton, Ohio, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Now, on “Thursday Night Football” vs. the Colts, White has a chance to show out again.