Jason La Canfora reports that the Jets are continuing to prepare as though Ryan Fitzpatrick will be their starting quarterback. However, sources tell La Canfora that this could change, depending on Fitzpatrick’s play and whether he continues to turn the ball over.
La Canfora goes as far to say that Fitzpatrick is likely playing for his job on Sunday against the Steelers. The team reportedly believes others have played generally well around Fitzpatrick to win three of their four games, but they have only managed to win a single game due primarily to Fitzpatrick’s struggles.
“He can’t put the game on his shoulders and try to be Superman,” Bowles said of Fitzpatrick. “If it’s not there, it’s not there. Whether we take the sack or we throw it out of bounds or we punt and move on, ball security is what wins in this league. The big difference between last year’s first quarter and this year’s first quarter is that we got a ton of turnovers (in 2015). And this year, we gave up a bunch of turnovers. That’s really the 3-1 and 1-3 scenario when you break it all down.”
La Canfora says that back Geno Smith has begun taking more reps in practice with the starters, so he would obviously replace Fitzpatrick if they felt that a change was necessary. Although, the Jets are reportedly committed to a long-term vision with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.
Fitzpatrick, 33, wound up signing a one-year, $12 million contract that’s fully guaranteed with the Jets after a prolonged stalemate that cost him most nearly all of the offseason workouts. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent next year.
In 2016, Fitzpatrick has appeared in four games and completed 55.8 percent of his passes for 1,012 yards to go along with four touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 33 quarterback out of 35 qualifying players.