Todd Bowles isn’t worried about “turning the page” to the Bryce Petty era just yet.
Instead, the Jets coach reiterated that starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick remains his best option. “I’m worried about who gives us the best chance to win. And right now, Fitz gives us the best chance to win,” Bowles said, adding one important caveat. “If he’s healthy.”
An MRI on Monday revealed Fitzpatrick suffered a sprained left knee ligament during Sunday’s 27-23 loss at Miami, Bowles confirmed to reporters on a conference call, though he didn’t specify whether it was the medial collateral ligament, as ESPN reported.
Fitzpatrick is day-to-day, so his status for Sunday’s game against the Rams is unclear. “We’ll know more as the week progresses,” Bowles said.
If the 12-year veteran is unable to suit up, Petty will make his first regular-season NFL start. “Yeah, he’ll be ready,” Bowles said.
With about 50 seconds to go in the third quarter, Fitzpatrick was leveled by Dolphins linemen Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips. The Jets training staff tended to Fitzpatrick on the field and checked him out on the sideline. Petty completed 2 of 2 passes for 19 yards, including a 15-yarder to Bilal Powell on his first attempt, in one series before Fitzpatrick returned.
After the game, Bowles said, “Ryan is our quarterback,” and said Fitzpatrick will start if healthy enough to play.
Though his clear preference is to stick with him, Bowles isn’t yet sure whether he’ll have Fitzpatrick under center against the struggling Rams (3-5). If Fitzpatrick “misses a significant amount” of practice time this week, Petty will be the guy.
“I don’t know. I’ve got to see him run around a little bit on Wednesday and Thursday first,” Bowles said of Fitzpatrick. “He’ll have to practice some on Friday, at least, and have a good understanding of the game plan. And we’ll make a decision going forward.”
Notes & quotes: Bowles said cornerback Marcus Williams has a high ankle sprain. He’s expected to miss “several games,” according to NFL.com . . . “It’s still too early to tell” if center Nick Mangold (ankle) will play after missing two straight games. “He’s got two days to get a little better and I’ll re-evaluate him on Wednesday,” Bowles said. The same goes for left tackle Ryan Clady (right shoulder).