Jets head coach Todd Bowles confirmed Monday that Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered a sprained knee in Sunday's loss against the Dolphins and he said his status was uncertain for the team's upcoming home game against the Los Angeles Rams.
"If he misses a significant amount of time, then Bryce (Petty) will play," Bowles told reporters. "He'll have to practice some on Friday at least and have a good understanding of the game plan and we'll make a decision going forward."
Fitzpatrick missed a handful of snaps in Miami after Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips was called for a roughing the passer penalty on the veteran quarterback. Petty relieved Fitzpatrick for four plays, connecting on two passes before Nick Folk came on for a field goal.
"We're 3-6. We're down — not out. Right now, I'm not worried about turning the page," Bowles said. "I'm worried about who gives us the best chance to win and right now Fitz gives us the best chance to win if he's healthy. If not, Bryce will get his shot to play."
After setting career highs with 31 TD passes and 3,905 passing yards last season, Fitzpatrick has been held to 8 TD passes while being intercepted 13 times over his eight starts. A year after finishing No. 3 in red zone efficiency, the Jets have struggled inside the 20 and rank 31st.
"It's easy to throw darts at the quarterback in this situation," said WR Brandon Marshall. "But like I said all season, there's so much that goes into it. All of us need to play better: special teams, defense and offense. We have to execute. Unfortunately the quarterback usually gets the brunt of the punishment and it comes with the territory, but it's not just one guy. I get it, I understand it. But it's not just Fitz's fault — it's all of our faults."
Best Images from Sunday's Week Nine Matchup in Miami
If Fitzpatrick isn't able to practice, the Jets will turn to Petty. A fourth-round pick out of Baylor in the 2015 NFL Draft, Petty is in his second year in Chan Gailey's system after he threw for 8,195 yards and 62 TDs in 36 collegiate games.
"I thought Bryce handled the situation very well. When you're in a backup situation or position, you always have to be alert," said veteran OL Ben Ijalana. "When Ryan took that knee, I looked over and you already see Bryce warming up, so he was prepared. I thought he handled himself well when he came into the huddle. It was really good to see because although this was his first NFL action I think in the regular season, Bryce is not a rookie. He has a year underneath his belt, so I'm glad he was able to kind of show what he can do in that small sample, calm nerves. We moved the ball a little bit and no one panicked. So I was proud of his composure as a pro."