Quarterback controversy? What quarterback controversy?
A day after the Jets quarterback situation was thrown in disarray after the Jets 24-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the situation solved itself, in a very unfortunate way.
“(Geno Smith) had some tests run and it came back positive,” said coach Todd Bowles. “They said he had a torn ACL and he’d be done for the year. When you hear that, it’s tough luck for the kid and you go from there. (Ryan) Fitzpatrick finished the game up and we’re going from there with Fitzpatrick.”
Of course, Fitzpatrick is getting the job by default. Just because he had a good day against a mediocre Ravens team doesn’t mean it erases the stain of the six games before when he gave away the ball like Santa Claus on Christmas.
And even with such poor stats, Fitzpatrick said after the game, he played better because he was “pissed off” due to his benching.
“If pissed off is going to stop the turnovers, then I’m more than happy to have him pissed off the whole time,” Bowles said. “This is a show-me game. It’s nothing about belief or non-belief. People get assigned to do jobs and they do them. If I don’t do my job or the (general manager) doesn’t do his job and the quarterback doesn’t do his job and the team doesn’t do (its) job, eventually, they’ll replace us all. It’s a show-me game.”
So now as the Jets go into the soft part of their schedule, Fitzpatrick will have to get it done in Cleveland this week against the winless Browns. But even against a poor team, the Jets quarterback will need to play smart and move the ball down the field, something he didn’t do most of the first six games.
And make no mistake; he has the job for now by default. The Jets had four quarterbacks on the roster for a reason and if Fitz can’t come through against the NFL also rans like the Browns and then the Dolphins, Bryce Petty is waiting in the wings.
But for now, he will have to stay healthy, since Petty isn’t game ready after being out a month with a shoulder injury.
“I feel comfortable with Bryce playing. He’s just been practicing for two weeks and missed about a month of football. You still have to get your feet wet and your reads down. Unlike any other position, at the quarterback position you need the practice time to see a lot of things.”
So Fitz is it and this will be his last chance to shine as Jets quarterback. Consider it a two week tryout, because if the Jets come back home with two losses against poor teams, Bowles will make another change.
And this time there will be no reprieve. The season will be too long gone and it will be time to play the kids, no matter how “pissed off” Fitzpatrick gets.