Jets’ QB ‘def­i­nitely op­ti­mistic’ he'll play

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Den­nis Waszak Jr.

Ryan Fitz­patrick thinks he’ll be back un­der cen­ter Sun­day. The Jets quar­ter­back just needs his sprained left knee to heal in a hurry. “I’m def­i­nitely op­ti­mistic that I’ll be able to go out there and play,” he said.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. » Ryan Fitz­patrick thinks he’ll be back un­der cen­ter Sun­day.

The New York Jets quar­ter­back just needs his sprained left knee to heal in a hurry.

“I’m def­i­nitely op­ti­mistic that I’ll be able to go out there and play,” he said. “And I am go­ing to do ev­ery­thing I can from now un­til then to make sure that hap­pens.”

Fitz­patrick was in­jured Sun­day at Mi­ami in the third quar­ter of New York’s 27-23 loss, but re­turned to fin­ish the game while wear­ing a brace on the knee. He said he would again wear a brace on Sun­day against Los An­ge­les if he plays.

“I mean, it’s a knee sprain,” Fitz­patrick said. “It’s not some­thing that I’m happy is there or feels great. But I think I’ll be OK.”

He was lim­ited at prac­tice Wed­nes­day, and coach Todd Bowles said the team will mon­i­tor him through­out the week.

“He threw the ball around,” Bowles said. “He didn’t run around as much, so we have to get a bet­ter gauge. He’s still get­ting treat­ment, but he’s get­ting bet­ter. Just have to see how much he can tol­er­ate.”

Bryce Petty, who went 2 of 2 for 19 yards in re­lief of Fitz­patrick, would get his first NFL start if the vet­eran can’t play. Petty was a fourth-round draft pick last year out of Bay­lor who hurt his right shoul­der in the pre­sea­son and was un­avail­able early in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

He was the No. 3 quar­ter­back be­hind both Fitz­patrick and Geno Smith, but has moved up to the backup role af­ter Smith’s sea­son-end­ing knee in­jury two weeks ago.

“I think he’s ca­pa­ble of start­ing,” Bowles said of Petty. “It’s just a mat­ter of Ryan is ahead of him right now. As Bryce gets more reps, he’ll get com­fort­able with them. Bryce has things he can do in games if we have to play him or if he has to start that I’m very com­fort­able with.”

Petty said he thinks about the past sum­mer, when he was on the bub­ble to make the Jets’ ros­ter, and cher­ishes the op­por­tu­nity he has now — whether it re­mains as the backup or he has to make an emer­gency start.

He cred­its Fitz­patrick with help­ing him pre­pare and make marked im­prove­ments from his rookie sea­son to now.

LYNNE SLADKY — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Jets quar­ter­back Ryan Fitz­patrick sits on the side­lines dur­ing the sec­ond half of New York’s loss to Dol­phins.

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