FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Ryan Fitzpatrick again practiced on a limited basis Friday, but his sprained left knee leaves him questionable for the Jets’ game against the Rams tomorrow.
Coach Todd Bowles said the quarterback will be a game-day decision and did not shed much light on his physical status other than to say, “He’s getting better than he was.”
The uncertainty could prompt Bowles to dress three quarterbacks as insurance.
The one instructive nugget Bowles offered Friday was that Fitzpatrick’s health is enough of a question mark that he and Bryce Petty split first-team practice repetitions.
“Obviously, Fitz would take mostly all the reps if he was healthy, but it was about even,” Bowles said.
Hmm. 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.”
“Being a backup in this league, most of the time your starter gets a lot of reps,” he said. “You get very limited reps. So for me, putting game plan to plays and actually getting to run them, it’s awesome. So it’s been good. I’m getting more confident every day and more and more comfortable.”
Petty said running the scout- team offense is useful to a point because he faces the Jets’ top defense. The trick is to prepare mentally while having to fill your role portraying the upcoming opponent’s quarterback.
“The thing that’s a little bit different is you can’t really tailor it to what you do as much,” he said. “But most of the time you can still sort of finagle it to what we do here.”
Petty has come a long way from worrying about making the team at all to missing more than a month with a right shoulder injury suffered in the preseason finale to being on the precipice of a start.
He said it helped to see some game action, for one series at least, when Fitzpatrick initially was hurt last Sunday.
“It was big for me,” he said. “Preseason this year [compared to last year], everything kind of slowed down. Then I went out there in Miami and [thought], oh, it’s not a whole lot different.”
Notes & quotes: Receiver Devin Smith (knee) seems ready to make his 2016 regular-season debut. “It’s been tough,” he said. “I’ve never been injured like this and out so long . . . Center Nick Mangold (ankle) is out. Cornerback Buster Skrine (knee) was limited and is questionable. Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson and linebacker Darron Lee practiced fully and are good to go . . . After a midseason lull, Matt Forte has rushed for 274 yards in his past three games. What changed? “It’s pretty simple; if you just watch the film, there’s holes open,” he said. Before that, did he find it frustrating to run into defensive walls? “It wasn’t exciting,’’ he said. “I mean, my job is to gain yards and put up stats. When you’re not doing that, of course it’s not going to be fun.” Forte had only 12 rushes and one reception against the Dolphins. “I think things turn out better when we run it more times than, like, 12 or 15 times a day,’’ he said. “You get 20 to 25 touches between that and the passing game, you’re able to wear on a defense, I think.”