New York Jets head coach Coach Todd Bowles said yesterday that he made the decision to start quarterback Bryce Petty on Saturday because Ryan Fitzpatrick's knee wasn’t completely healthy after spraining his medial collateral ligament in the prior week's loss to the Miami Dolphins. Going into the bye week the Jets have extra time to heal and to evaluate, and coach Bowles said that time will be used to figure out who will be the Jets starting quarterback going forward this season.
We’ll evaluate that next week as we go forward. We have a bye week to evaluate it and I’ll see how Fitz feels. We’ll watch the film on Bryce and make a determination middle of next week. … I’m trying to play the best player right now and win ball games. It it’s Bryce, it’s Bryce. If it’s Fitz, it’s Fitz.
For those into reading tea leaves this may be the least enthusiastic support for Fitzpatrick that Bowles has ever given immediately after a game. That might signal that the Jets are finally inclined to move on from Fitzpatrick for good. On the other hand, this was hardly a ringing endorsement of Petty, and the vague wording certainly left plenty of wiggle room for the Jets to decide to go back to Fitzpatrick after the bye.