Three days after being named the Jets' regular-season starter, Josh McCown got in a couple of series with the starters Thursday night and led the offense to points on its second possession. But McCown gave the club cause for some concern — ever so briefly — when he had to the exit the preseason finale for a play.
After throwing a short pass to TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins midway through the first quarter, McCown took a shot to his ribs from reserve LB Joe Walker. He initially dusted himself off and walked towards the sideline, but then took a knee and was looked at by medical personnel.
"I just got the wind knocked out of me," he said. "It's good to get that one past you. The first series I played way back in that first game, I didn't really get hit much."
Replaced by Christian Hackenberg, McCown quickly regained his breath and got back into the game the following snap. The Jets, who got chunk plays from ASJ and on a McCown screen to RB Bilal Powell for 20 and 19 yards respectively, eventually ended the 12 play, 50-yard possession with a 28-yard field goal from K Chandler Cantanzaro.
"He had rhythm all week in practice and all camp," said head coach Todd Bowles. "Just to get out there, get used to the play calling and the guys again, playing in game situations and having certain things come up via penalty or otherwise — he needed to get in that kind of rhythm because if not, he would not have played in a long time."
Making his second start of the preseason, McCown finished his evening 6-of-8 for 57 yards. In limited game action this summer, McCown led the Green & White to 10 points on three possessions including a 4-yard scoring pass to WR Charone Peake against Tennessee.
"We wanted to work on tempo and getting out of the huddle and moving fast and we did that that second drive," he said. "That was the goal, so I feel like we accomplished that. We feel good going into next week."