FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Todd Bowles is “OK,” a source said Friday after the Jets’ coach was hospitalized. The team did not disclose his illness.
It was not known Friday whether Bowles will be on the sideline for Saturday afternoon’s game at New England.
Bowles “fell ill” at the team’s Florham Park, New Jersey, facility on Friday, another source said, and was admitted to an area hospital early that afternoon. The Jets said he was in stable condition.
As a result, he did not travel with the team to New England for the game against the Patriots.
According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the plan was for Bowles to spend Friday night in the hospital, then travel to the game Saturday. He would have to be cleared to do that.
In a statement, the Jets said the 53-year-old coach was in stable condition at the hospital. General manager Mike Maccagnan visited with Bowles at the hospital before the team left for New England.
If Bowles cannot make it to the game, the team said assistant coach / inside linebackers coach Mike Caldwell will replace him.
Caldwell ran Friday’s walk-through practice in Bowles’ absence.
This Jets season has been a difficult one.
Expectations for the franchise soared after Bowles guided the Jets to a 10-6 record in 2015. Though they failed to make the playoffs after losing to Rex Ryan’s Buffalo Bills in Week 17, the Jets seemed poised to make a run this season.
But poor quarterback play, an underwhelming defense and the underperforming performance of high-priced talent helped to sink their season.
The Jets, who have lost five of their past six games, are 4-10 heading into Saturday’s matchup with the Patriots (12-2), who are looking to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
In addition to the losses, Bowles has had to contend with off-the-field issues involving players.
In Week 7, he benched defensive stars Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson for the first quarter against Miami on Nov. 6 after they were late to a meeting. Sources later indicated that Wilkerson’s tardiness predated this season.
Just this past week, Bowles fielded questions about Richardson’s profanity-filled Snapchat video, which the defensive lineman said he accidentally posted publicly instead of to the intended recipient, a former teammate.
Bowles repeatedly has shrugged off questions about his job security this season, but the calls for his firing grew louder after the Jets were embarrassed by the Colts, 41-10, on Monday Night Football on Dec. 5.
Though his team came from behind to defeat the 49ers on the road two weeks ago, they were embarrassed the following week in a 34-13 loss to the Dolphins.
In the lead-up to Saturday’s game against New England, Bowles still seemed unfazed by the questions about his job status.
“No, I haven’t heard anything about that,” he said on a conference call earlier this week with Patriots beat writers. “I don’t worry about my job. When you sign the contract to become the head coach, you know that your job is in jeopardy.”
Asked how he deals with constant speculation about his job security, Bowles said: “I’m in New York. I deal with speculation every day, so I’m fine.”
Notes & quotes: Jets running back Matt Forte (shoulder/knee) is doubtful. Outside linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle) and defensive tackle Steve McLendon (hamstring) have been ruled out.