Todd Bowles: 'Too early to tell' whether Bryce Petty will go on IR

ByRich Cimini via ESPN logo
Friday, September 2, 2016

The New York Jets will carry four quarterbacks through Saturday's final roster cuts, according to coach Todd Bowles. But that could change in the ensuing days, depending on Bryce Petty's right shoulder.

Petty, who underwent an MRI exam Friday, has a bruise but no structural damage in his throwing shoulder, Bowles said.

Petty, who started the preseason finale Thursday night, is a candidate for injured reserve, but it sounds like the team isn't close to making that decision.

On Friday, Bowles offered only one piece of definitive news regarding his much-discussed quarterback depth chart: Geno Smith will open the season as the No. 2, backing up Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Rookie Christian Hackenberg, a second-round pick, is a virtual lock to make the team despite struggling in the preseason.

The big question surrounds Petty, who left Lincoln Financial Field late Thursday with his shoulder in a harness and his arm in a sling. He was injured while throwing a 44-yard touchdown pass in a 14-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

"It's too early to tell," said Bowles, commenting on whether the Jets will place Petty on IR. "We're still waiting to see the recovery time. We're going to assess him this week and see how it goes with treatment."

Petty's injury could provide a convenient escape for the Jets, who for several months have been toying with the idea of keeping four quarterbacks on the opening-day roster. No team has done that since 2013. They can stash him on injured reserve, saving a roster spot.

The injured-reserve rules were changed last offseason, providing more flexibility. It allows teams to choose one player -- among the players already on IR -- to return to practice, provided that player has spent at least six weeks on IR. The player would be eligible to play two weeks later.

The previous rule required teams to designate the player they wanted to return from IR at the time they placed him on the list, with the same six- and two-week time frames.

The Jets also have to make a decision on incumbent right tackle Breno Giacomini (back), who spent the preseason on the physically unable to perform list. Bowles didn't rule out the possibility to putting Giacomini on reserve/PUP to save a roster spot, meaning he wouldn't be eligible to return until Week 7.