FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t help but walk on the wild side. The Jets quarterback knows he shouldn’t slide head first. But in the thrill of competition, all bets are off.
“I definitely don’t want to play with a thumb injury on my left hand all year again,” joked Fitzpatrick, who tore ligaments in his left thumb during a 34-20 loss at Oakland in Week 8. He got hurt on the Jets’ first drive after eluding tacklers on a 12-yard scramble.
“It’s something that I’ll think about, it’s a lot different. I could stand in front of you and say, ‘Yeah, I’m going to slide,’ and then I get out there and get competitive. So I’ve have to pick and choose and I know I have to be smart.
“The actual play I got hurt on last year, it was not a smart play because there was so much room and space and it wasn’t a fourth-and-two where I’m diving to get the first down. I’m going to have to pick and choose my battles this year, but I’ll try to be smarter with that.”
He’ll have to do more than just “try” to appease Todd Bowles. The coach reiterated that along with cutting out interceptions, he’d like to see his 33-year-old quarterback protect his body better — starting Sunday against Cincinnati. “The No. 1 thing he can be better at is learning how to slide feet first, not head first,” he said.
Asked about Geno Smith’s future as a Jet, owner Woody Johnson said: “He’s on the team, right now. He’s matured. So what I’m seeing is very good. I’m hopeful.” . . . LB David Harris (shoulder), WR Brandon Marshall (hip) and LB Bruce Carter (shoulder) were limited. So was DE Leonard Williams, who said he’s dealing with a groin issue but was listed with a hip . . . DE Jarvis Jenkins (calf), QB Bryce Petty (right shoulder) and CB Darryl Roberts (foot) did not practice, while WR Quincy Enunwa (concussion), DT Steve McLendon (hand, toe) and DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) were full.