When Jets head coach Todd Bowles spoke with the media today, it became clear the Jets are not sure which quarterbacks will be healthy for Sunday's game against Jacksonville. Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick both were injured against the Raiders yesterday. Bowles indicated there is a chance rookie Bryce Petty will make his first career start. The possibility is so real that Petty will get reps in practice. The team also is looking at bringing in a quarterback, a sign Fitzpatrick and/or Smith might not be ready to go.
Here are some of the highlights.
Bowles on Fitzpatrick: ligament damage in left thumb. Pain management. Day-to-day. Geno has "big bruise" of left shoulder. Also day-to-day.— Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) November 2, 2015
Bowles says Fitzpatrick WILL need surgery at some point on that ligament damage. They'll see how he does with the pain first. #NYJ— Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) November 2, 2015
There is a chance Fitzpatrick COULD play Sunday. It's all up to his pain tolerance. Surgery could be held off until offseason. #Jets— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) November 2, 2015
Bowles says he'll want Fitz to take some snaps later in the week to see if he can play Sunday vs. Jags. #NYJ— Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) November 2, 2015
Bowles on if Geno Smith can play Sunday: "If he progresses during the week, there's a chance he could."— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 2, 2015
If neither QB is ready, Bowles says, "We've got Bryce (Petty) and we're looking at some others." #Jets— Dennis Waszak Jr. (@DWAZ73) November 2, 2015
As of now, Petty is going to take 1st team reps this week to get him ready just in case he needs to start vs. Jags. #NYJ— Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) November 2, 2015
Matt Flynn is one of the names the Jets have talked about at QB, Bowles said. #nyj— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) November 2, 2015
Bowles said if they bring in a QB, that person could be brought in to start or back up Petty. #nyj— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) November 2, 2015
Jets looking at every option for QBs including trades. It's possible this week's starter is not on the roster, but they will get Petty reps.— Eric Allen (@eallenjets) November 2, 2015
Are #Jets considering trades? Bowles: We're looking at everything right now.— Kimberley A. Martin (@KMart_LI) November 2, 2015
Bowles says they'd like to have potential QB addition at the facility by Wednesday morning. #NYJ— Chris Lopresti (@CLoprestiWFAN) November 2, 2015
Bowles said Fitzpatrick's challenges in his current condition are taking snaps under center & handing off. "It'll be a challenge."— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 2, 2015
Todd Bowles said Fitzpatrick & Geno are "both in the same boat" re: availability for Sunday. Didn't declare who has better shot to play— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 2, 2015
The Fitzpatrick news does not sound good. Since he needs surgery, and the team is going to see how he manages the pain, it sounds like the team will be dealing with either a banged up Fitz the rest of the season or miss him for an extended stretch.
At this point, I think FItzpatrick is the best quarterback on the team. Geno Smith is the second best, and Bryce Petty is third best. I also think the gap between Smith and Petty is much bigger than the gap between Fitzpatrick and Smith. Hopefully one of the top two is ready to go by Sunday.
The fact the Jets would consider signing somebody off the street to start over Petty does not speak well to how ready they think the rookie is. This is no surprise. There are first round picks who are not ready to start in year one. A fourth rounder would likely have a very tough time.
Flynn probably would make the most sense if the Jets brought somebody in from the outside. He would be very cheap, and he actually worked with the offensive system and receivers in training camp.
Should the Jets end up with either Petty or an outsider, Bowles had some rather disturbing injury news.
Bowles says he's "not sure" about Nick Mangold's availability (neck) for Sunday vs Jags.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 2, 2015
"It's too early to tell" if Brandon Marshall will play vs Jags, per Bowles.— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) November 2, 2015
With an inexperienced quarterback, both of those guys would become much more important. Mangold can help set blocking assignments. In what would likely be a scaled back gameplan, the quarterback might only know a handful of options on passing plays. Throwing it up to Marshall and trusting him would be a nice option to have.
Sorry to bring you bad news. Stay tuned. Hopefully things get better.