Jets' Fitzpatrick considers surgery, Folk out 4 weeks
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick is considering having surgery on his injured thumb Friday, a day after New York plays Buffalo.
Fitzpatrick would only confirm Monday that he won't have the procedure on the torn ligament before Thursday night's game. The likely possibilities are either Friday, because the Jets would then have nine days before their next game, or after the season.
''I'm kind of weighing different options right now,'' Fitzpatrick said. ''I don't want to miss any time or any games, so the decision really is really going to be based off that and just to make sure I don't miss any time.''
Fitzpatrick injured his thumb when Oakland's Charles Woodson hit into him during the Jets' 34-20 loss on Nov. 1. He practiced all week and wore a molded brace covered by a glove on his left hand while going 21 of 34 for 272 yards and two touchdowns in New York's 28-23 win over Jacksonville on Sunday.
''The pain's not too bad,'' he said, adding he had no issues during the game. ''It's not like I'm loopy on pain pills and shooting my thumb up.''
The ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb is torn and needs to be surgically returned to its original position. Fitzpatrick said waiting until after the season is still a possibility, but he has been told the surgery could become more complicated because the ligament begins to shrink the longer you wait.
That appears to have him leaning toward having the surgery Friday, especially since the Jets don't play again after Thursday until Nov. 22 at Houston. Fitzpatrick wants to be sure the incision will heal in time for him to be able to play against the Texans.
''It's a wait-and-see type of thing,'' coach Todd Bowles said. ''If he does get it done, we have to see how he heals. They're saying he should be OK, but you don't know how those things go once you get surgery.''
Bowles said the determining factor for playing time if Fitzpatrick has surgery is whether he can take the ball under center and hand it off normally.
Meanwhile, the Jets are dealing with several other injuries, including a big one to kicker Nick Folk.
Bowles said Folk is expected to be sidelined at least four weeks with a quadriceps injury. New York worked out a few kickers Monday, including Randy Bullock, after Folk was injured in pregame warmups Sunday. Punter Ryan Quigley was forced into kicking duties and made all four of his extra-point attempts.
Bowles said Folk could be placed on season-ending injured reserve.
''We're going to discuss everything tonight,'' Bowles said. ''We need some roster spots. We have a couple people hurt. So, we have to work some things out.''
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie strained his left quadriceps against the Jaguars and Bowles said he's ''50-50'' to play against the Bills. He didn't practice during the Jets' walkthrough session Monday, nor did safeties Dion Bailey and Calvin Pryor, both sidelined with high ankle sprains - neither of whom are expected to play.
Bailey was hurt Sunday after getting the start in place of Pryor, who missed his second straight game. That leaves only Marcus Gilchrist and Rontez Miles, promoted from the practice squad Saturday, as the team's only healthy safeties.
Bowles indicated that promoting Ronald Martin from the practice squad is a possibility, as is using some of the cornerbacks in those spots, as the Jets did against Oakland.
The Jets also need to make a decision on cornerback Dee Milliner, who has been sidelined since training camp with a wrist injury that required surgery. If New York doesn't activate him from short-term injured reserve by Tuesday, Milliner would be placed on season-ending IR.
''We'll talk about it,'' Bowles said. ''He has a chance to be activated.''
Center Nick Mangold left Sunday's game with a neck injury, saying it didn't respond well after he was initially hurt at New England on Oct. 25. His status for Thursday is uncertain.
Right guard Willie Colon was inactive Sunday with a sore knee and he was limited Monday. Also limited were: wide receivers Eric Decker (neck) and Brandon Marshall (ankle, toe), fullback Tommy Bohanon (shoulder), running back Bilal Powell (sprained ankle) and cornerback Buster Skrine (shoulder, hand).
''I mean, everybody goes through it,'' Bowles said of dealing with injuries. ''You have guys on your team for a reason. You have to understand why they're on your team, so when you put them in there, you have to make sure you understand what they do. Injuries are going to happen. The thing is, you have to win despite them.''
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