Jets fans have been waiting for this moment and it came with a cost. The Jets lost starting quarterback Josh McCown for the rest of the season with a broken left (non-throwing) hand, it was announced Monday.
With that, the two young quarterbacks, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg have a chance to play in an NFL game. Petty will start Sunday against the Saints. Hackenberg will be the No. 2.
“Josh has been a rock for a lot of us on this team,” Hackenberg told Newsday after Sunday’s game. “We hate, all of us, hate seeing that. He’s been awesome. The most important part is making sure he’s all right. We’ll be ready and keep preparing, we’ve always done that, but it hurts.”
Hackenberg, a 2016 second-round pick, will be active for the game-day roster for just the second time in his career.
Since 2000, there have been 20 quarterbacks drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft, and only Hackenberg hasn’t played in a game.
The mystery surrounding Hackenberg’s inability to make the game-day roster is clear: He wasn’t ready.
Todd Bowles said Hackenberg has no choice but to get ready now.
“Yeah, I am, he’ll get reps this week, too,” Bowles said when asked if he is comfortable using Hackenberg in a game.
At least three hours before games, Hackenberg throws passes to teammates, trainers or ball boys. Sunday in Denver, Hackenberg was throwing red-zone passes to defensive lineman Mike Pennel even though he wasn’t active.
Sunday in New Orleans, he will be.
“I know Josh has been great for both Bryce and Hack,” center Wesley Johnson said. “He’s been the leader for our offense, but he’s also been a coach for everybody, too. I’m excited, I think [Petty] will do well.”