FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Peppered by questions about backup Bryce Petty, Jets coach Todd Bowles made it clear he’s not moving on from Ryan Fitzpatrick just yet.
“For me to make a quarterback change, I’d have to have a quarterback controversy,” Bowles said Thursday. “Ryan is the starter. Bryce is the backup.”
Fitzpatrick has an NFL-leading 13 interceptions and the lowest QB rating in the league (67.6), but Bowles reiterated that the 12-year veteran gives the Jets (3-6) the best chance to win Sunday against the Rams (3-5).
“When you look at the film and you see mistakes made, it’s across the board. It’s not just Fitz,” Bowles said. “And if I felt there was enough mistakes where I could put somebody else in there right now, I would put them in there. Bryce is ready to play if Fitzpatrick can’t go and I have full confidence in Bryce. But if Fitzpatrick can go, he’ll play.”
Fitzpatrick (sprained left knee) has been limited in practice, but “he’s getting a little better,” Bowles said. “ . . . He has to do some more though.”
Last week, Nick Mangold was feeling better and finally was out of his walking boot. Then he suffered a setback. “It was part of my own stupidity,’’ the center said in his first interview since injuring his right ankle. “I was trying to do too much too soon. I’m not very good at listening to doctors. I hear what they say, but I’m just not good at listening.”
He’ll likely miss his third straight game but said: “I’m hoping to be back as soon as I can. Whenever that is, you’ll see me out there.”
Mangold, who also is dealing with knee soreness, insisted his body is not breaking down. Before this season, he had missed only four games dating back to 2006.
With the Jets trailing the Dolphins 14-13 early in the third quarter on Sunday, running back Matt Forte ran the ball successfully on two straight plays. But on third-and-1 at the Jets’ own 36, Chan Gailey called a pass play to Forte. Why?
“That’s a question that you ask yourself when you go back to it,” the offensive coordinator said. “ . . . When the ball goes on the ground, to be honest with you, I thought it was third-and-2, 2 1⁄2 maybe. Then all of a sudden, when I look up, after I’ve called the play, it’s third-and-1, a little over one, maybe one and a half. I might’ve made a different call if I had thought it was that down and distance.”
Mangold and Marcus Williams (ankles), Bruce Carter (quadriceps), Josh Martin (concussion), and Kellen Davis (elbow) did not practice . . . Muhammad Wilkerson, Darron Lee and Brandon Marshall (ankles), Buster Skrine (knee) and Breno Giacomini and Brandon Shell (shoulders) were limited.