Bryce Petty eases concerns of Jets with full practice participation

ByRich Cimini ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jets quarterback Bryce Petty, recovering from a chest bruise, practiced fully Wednesday and is slated to start Saturday against the Patriots.

Coach Todd Bowles confirmed Petty's status after watching him two straight days in practice.

There was some doubt after Saturday, when Petty suffered what was initially feared as a serious injury, if he would be able to face the Pats.

"I was concerned after the game, yes," offensive coordinator Chan Gailey said. "I was concerned, but fortunately, everything showed that there wasn't anything structurally wrong. It's just him dealing with it, and he's handled it well. He's gotten reps both days, and it looks like he's throwing the ball OK."

In the blowout loss to the Dolphins, Petty was sandwiched by Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake on the first play of the fourth quarter. He left the game with chest pain. X-rays taken at the game were negative.

The next day, a CT scan showed no lung damage. On Tuesday, Petty proclaimed himself fit to play against the Patriots (12-2). It will be his fourth career start. He's 1-2, with three touchdown passes, six interceptions and a 64.6 passer rating.

"Some good things, some things that we have got to work on," Gailey said of Petty's last performance. "I thought he was more comfortable going into the ball game than he was the previous times. That part of it was good, and I think he'll get more comfortable with every game he plays."

Bowles said he hasn't decided whether to activate two or three quarterbacks for the game. If he opts for three, rookie Christian Hackenberg will dress for the first time at the No. 3, behind Petty and ex-starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Jets could be without leading rusher Matt Forte, who told that he has a "nerve issue" in his shoulder. He's also playing with a torn meniscus in his knee. He didn't practice Wednesday.

Bilal Powell is expected to be the featured back for the third straight week.

Right guard Brian Winters, placed on injured reserve, will have surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, Bowles said. The timing is lousy, as Winters will be an unrestricted free agent.