Jets players wanted Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now they’ve got him — but for how long? While Todd Bowles already announced Fitzpatrick as the starter against the Ravens this Sunday, the head coach admitted on Tuesday that a change under center is “definitely possible.”
Kimberly A. Martin for Newsday reports Bowles is at least considering turning to either second-year signal-caller Bryce Petty or rookie Christian Hackenberg. In fact, he didn’t even rule out making the move for this week, revealing that while there are “some stages to go before we reach that point,” nothing is decided until he meets with his coaching staff on Tuesday.
Bowles added it’s “status quo” immediately following a game, all of which seemingly leaves the door open for the staff to conclude a switch might be in the team’s best interests.
Fitzpatrick had another disappointing effort on Monday night, completing 16 of 31 passes for 174 yards with an interception and eventually was relieved by veteran Geno Smith in the Jets’ 28-3 loss at Arizona. New York’s record fell to 1-5 on the season after the club finished 10-6 in 2015.
It’s no wonder Bowles would consider reversing course, especially if his staff is lobbying for it. While Fitzpatrick surprised everybody by throwing for a career-high 3,915 yards and 31 touchdowns last year, the journeyman officially has returned to earth, leading the NFL with 11 interceptions through six weeks.
As for whether the Jets have a better option, that remains to be seen, but there is certainly no shortage of alternatives. Smith has made 29 career starts, while Petty and Hackenberg were fourth- and second-round draft picks in 2015 and ’16, respectively. At some point, Bowles and his staff owe it to the franchise to give somebody else a shot.
The real question is who? Smith might give the Jets the best shot to win now, but with the playoffs already appearing out of reach, it might be in everybody’s best interests to look ahead at the future.
Assuming Bowles decides to make a change, that is.