Despite some soreness, Bryce Petty appears good to go after suffering a hellacious hit from two Dolphins defensive linemen on Saturday night.
“His tests came back negative,” Jets coach Todd Bowles said Monday afternoon on ESPN’s “The Michael Kay Show.” “He’s sore, but he’s a lot better than we thought he would be.”
NFL Network reported earlier in the day that Petty had suffered only a bruised chest in Saturday night’s 34-13 loss to Miami. X-rays that night were negative, but as of Sunday morning, Bowles still was awaiting CT scan results to rule out a punctured or bruised lung or possible damage to his ribs.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, miscommunication on the part of the Jets’ offensive line allowed Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake to rush Petty unblocked and sandwich him. The crushing two-man blow came immediately after the quarterback launched a 28-yard pass to rookie receiver Robby Anderson. Petty left the game and was replaced by former starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Petty’s injury raised the question of which backup, Fitzpatrick or inexperienced rookie Christian Hackenberg, would start Christmas Eve in New England if Petty wasn’t 100 percent. Before the additional test results came back Sunday, Bowles said he and his coaching staff would meet later that afternoon to “discuss everything.”
During Monday’s radio interview, Bowles said he might dress all three of his quarterbacks depending on Petty’s health. That means Hackenberg — who hasn’t played all season — might be active for his first game as the Jets’ No. 3 quarterback.
After the Jets were embarrassed by the Colts, 41-10, on Monday Night Football on Dec. 5, Bowles benched Fitzpatrick. At the time, he said the 12-year veteran would be the backup “right now” and Hackenberg would “take some reps and we’ll see how he goes in the next coming weeks.” Asked during that Dec. 6 conference call if Hackenberg would play before the season ends, Bowles said: “Not unless Bryce gets hurt. Right now, I do not see him getting any playing time.”
The hit by Suh and Wake seemed as if it might knock Petty out of commission for some time, but the 25-year-old stressed after the game that he was OK. “I’ll be good,” he said with a smile. “Little sore right now, but I’ll be fine.”
Petty was 20-for-36 for 235 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions against the Dolphins. In his three starts this season, he is 62-for-103 with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
The Patriots improved to 12-2 with a 16-3 victory over the Broncos on Sunday in Denver and earned their eighth straight AFC East championship.
Notes & quotes: The Jets waived linebacker Arthur Brown off the practice squad and signed linebacker Randell Johnson off the L.A. Rams’ practice squad.