Jets' Starting QB Sunday? Bowles: 'Ryan'


Whoever Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith visited regarding their different injuries on Monday and Tuesday, the consultants must have gotten some medical training in Lourdes. Jets head coach Todd Bowles said after practice today that his two quarterbacks were, well, good to go.

"They have Ryan taped up pretty good, bandaged up pretty good. He didn't have any pain or any effect, so he practiced," Bowles said. "And Geno practiced as well, so we have both."

No trade by the Tuesday deadline for an emergency QB? No need, thank goodness. The short-list folder of free agent signalcallers? Back in the file cabinet. Bryce Petty? No rush to get him hyper-ready. Asked who his starter will be Sunday at home against the Jaguars, Bowles answered with one name: "Ryan."

Fitzpatrick admitted that the sensations in his left thumb, after he suffered a torn ligament four minutes into the Raiders game, are "not really normal," but today's practice was "a pleasant surprise."

"No limitations today," he said. "Really just a trial run to see how it was going to feel and what the best way going forward would be in terms of using it and not using it and all that. Today was a pretty positive day in that regard."

Smith's bruised left shoulder, acquired with 9½ minutes to play Sunday, has also come around.

"It's sore. ... It's getting better day by day," he said after practice. "It felt good, it felt fine." But could he play Sunday if needed? "Yeah."

Surprised, Coach Bowles? "Well, the way they went out of the game the other day, yeah," the coach replied.

It will be interesting to see how snaps under center, shotgun snaps, running, passing — and feet-first sliding — go for Fitz the rest of the week. As Bowles said, "I have three days of practice with him. If I see the progress that he's making, then he'll start Sunday. If not, Geno will start."

Fitzpatrick said he exchanged thoughts on the injury with Cardinals QB Carson Palmer, who suffered a similar injury. And he'll be wearing "a special glove" Sunday. No details revealed on how special, although presumably it's not courtesy of Tony Stark. And Fitzpatrick says it's not about flying to the rescue anyway.

"I'm extremely confident," he said. "I don't want to put the team in a position where I'm going to go out and hurt the team or turn the ball over or try to be a hero because of something that's compromised. I want to go out there and help the team, so if I can do that without putting me or the team in a compromising position, then I will, and I think I'm going to be able to do that."

The same goes for Geno, who thanked WR Brandon Marshall for unsolicited support the past few days.

"I know he supports me, and he's openly said that, and I appreciate it and I love him for it," Smith said. "I feel the same support from each one of my teammates. They've all expressed that. But it's not about me, it's about us. And we've got to get back on the right track and find a way to win a game."

Needless to say, the Jets' team health is about more than QBs, and six players didn't practice today — WRs Marshall (toe/ankle), Eric Decker (knee) and Devin Smith (foot), O-linemen Nick Mangold (neck) and Willie Colon (knee), and S Calvin Pryor (ankle).

"This is the part of the season where everybody's a little banged up," Marshall said. "Ideally, you want to practice. I'll do everything I can to get out there."

And then all the Jets' banged-up players will leave it up the doctors, trainers, Bowles, and those associates from the south of France to get them ready to roll against the Jaguars.

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