FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — If Christian Hackenberg actually sees game action against the Patriots, that won’t be a good thing for the Jets.
“If we get down to the third quarterback, we’re probably getting killed in the first place,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said matter-of-factly after practice Thursday.
Bowles said he still hasn’t decided if he’ll dress all three of his quarterbacks for Saturday’s game in Foxborough, Massachusetts. He already has determined, however, that Ryan Fitzpatrick will be No. 2 behind Bryce Petty, who is scheduled to make his fourth career start.
“It’s possible,” Bowles said of dressing Hackenberg, who has yet to be active for a game this season. He explained that his decision will come down to injuries and how many healthy bodies he’ll have at his disposal (by rule, NFL teams need to have 46 players in uniform on game day).
Though Bowles hadn’t ruled out any players as of Thursday, running back Matt Forte didn’t practice for a second straight day because of shoulder and knee injuries. Nose tackle Steve McLendon (hamstring) and outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle) also sat out.
Forte, 31, has been playing with a torn meniscus in his knee all season and Bowles said he trusts him to decide whether he’ll face the Patriots (12-2). “If he can play, he will,” Bowles said.
The Jets (4-10) are 16 1⁄2-point underdogs, but in typical fashion, Bowles didn’t bat an eye at the lopsided odds.
“I don’t concern myself with point spreads,” he said.
Buster Skrine (concussion) practiced fully and is expected to play . . . Brandon Marshall (shoulder/back), Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) and Khiry Robinson (lower leg) were limited . . . Tom Brady (thigh) was limited for a second straight day. The Patriots activated rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett from injured reserve to their active roster, and he’ll serve as the No. 3 behind Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo. Said coach Bill Belichick: “Nobody needs insurance until you need insurance.”