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Fitzpatrick Thankful for Another Opportunity

Veteran Signal Caller Ready to Face the Bills with a Different Supporting Cast


Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's outlook is simple heading into Week 17.

"For me, I get to go out there and play another game," Fitzpatrick said. "I love competing with these guys. That's how I look at it. It's just another opportunity to go out there and have fun with the guys."

Head coach Todd Bowles announced Tuesday that the 12-year veteran will start for the injured Bryce Petty, who was slated to be the Jets' starting QB for the final four games of 2016. Petty tore the labrum in his left shoulder while tackling Patriots CB Malcolm Butler early in the second quarter and Fitzpatrick finished the game in his place, marking his 13th appearance this season (10 starts).

"He's disappointed in the nature of that one," Fitzpatrick said of Petty. "It was kind of a fluke deal. I think he's disappointed because he was excited to be out there playing and was feeling more comfortable every week. That was a tough thing for him."

Fitzpatrick recorded his most productive game this season in the first meeting with the Bills, establishing career highs in yards (374) , completion percentage (70.6) and QBR (116.5) in a 37-31 Jets' win on Thursday Night Football. Fourteen weeks later, the Jets and Bills find themselves in similar positions entering the final game of the regular season. 

"It's tough," Fitzpatrick said. "They're out of the playoffs, we're out of the playoffs. We've been out of the playoffs for a while. We'll have some young guys I think maybe can get some experience at receiver or running back or wherever it is in line. I think it's just, like I said earlier, another opportunity to go out there for all of us to focus on playing the game we love and trying to have fun with it."

Despite playing a familiar foe, Fitzpatrick will lead an offense that features a much different supporting cast than the last matchup against their division rival. This unit features seven different starters from their Week 2 matchup at New Era Field.  

"It's definitely a little bit different today," Fitzpatrick said. "Kind of what we said in the preseason, some of these young receivers are talented guys. I think they'll have an opportunity to make some plays on Sunday. There's a lot of different faces out there."

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