President Obama isn’t the only lame duck around these days.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the starting quarterback for the New York Jets, knows his time with the New York Jets is coming to a close. But with a knee injury suffered during last week’s loss to the Miami Dolphins and backup Bryce Petty looming, that time might come sooner than he thinks.
As reported by ESPN, Ryan Fitzpatrick’s status for Sunday is a “game time decision.”
“He’s getting better,” Bowles said of Fitzpatrick, who suffered a left knee injury in last Sunday’s loss to the Dolphins in Miami. “We’ll warm him up Sunday and I’ll make a decision.”
An MRI revealed a sprained MCL, and according to the article, it’s a 50-50 call at this point whether he’ll play.
“He has been limited in practice all week, but on Wednesday said he was ‘definitely optimistic’ he would be able to play against the Rams.”
And while Bowles had already declared Fitzpatrick the starter for Sunday’s game, assuming he was healthy, there have been many fans and media pundits clamoring for the Jets to start backup Bryce Petty with the Jets seemingly out of the playoff picture at 3-6.
In fact, Fitzpatrick had already been benched once this year already as Bowles made the decision to start Geno Smith at QB against the Ravens several weeks ago. As luck would have it, Smith suffered a torn ACL during his only start this season and Fitzpatrick was given his job back.
The aforementioned pundits, ironically enough, clamored for Fitzpatrick’s return during the offseason. Fitzpatrick infamously held out following a record-breaking 2015 season that ended in heartbreak when the Jets, needing a victory in Week 17, fell to the Buffalo Bills and missed the playoffs. But with no other team willing to pay Ryan’s asking price, the Jets leveraged that into a one-year, $12 million dollar, prove-it-or-lose-it type deal. Fitzpatrick signed, claiming he was happy to bet on himself, and the Jets were off and running to repeat the success from a year ago.
But that never happened. With arguably the hardest opening schedule in the NFL this year, the Jets fell to a disappointing 1-5 record. Fitzpatrick leads the league in interceptions – including a calamitous six interception game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3 – and the Jets’ chances of making the playoffs apparently went up in smoke early.
Last week, Fitzpatrick was able to rally the team to a late lead in the fourth quarter, only to see the special teams unit for the Jets surrender a kickoff return touchdown after being penalized for being off sides. The cries for fourth-round pick Bryce Petty began. The injury he suffered may jump start that process.
“Petty, the young backup who threw (and completed) his first two NFL passes against the Dolphins last week, said this week has provided the most first-team reps he has had, and that he found the experience ‘extremely helpful,'” according to Newsday. Helpful enough that Bowles may “dress three quarterbacks as insurance,” according to the report.
If Petty is able to start, and be productive against the Rams’ tough front line, Bowles will have no choice but to keep Petty as the starter heading into their bye week. Fitzpatrick’s career with the Jets will be all but over at that point.
“Whatever the Jets need,” Petty told NJ.com about his anticipation to finally show the Jets fan base what he’s capable of.
“Whatever the team needs is what I’m going to do. I’m going to be prepared and ready for whatever the team needs. Whatever I’m focused on is what I can control, and the rest will take care of itself.”
[Featured Image By Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]