Jets' Fitzpatrick 'definitely optimistic' about playing
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) 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 Wednesday. ''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 Wednesday that 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.
''How much time you got?'' Petty said when asked about Fitzpatrick's influence. ''Ryan's been great. Since the moment I stepped in here, he's been the big brother I never wanted or had. No, I've learned a lot about the game of football from him and constantly being in the film room with him and at practice. He's always open to questions and willing to put the time in with me, which is huge.''
NOTES: C Nick Mangold (ankle), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle), LB Bruce Carter (knee), CB Nick Marshall (illness), LB Darron Lee (ankle), CB Marcus Williams (ankle), LB Josh Martin (concussion) and TE Kellen Davis (elbow) all did not practice. Mangold has missed two games and remains in a walking boot. ... OTs Brandon Shell and Breno Giacomini were both limited with shoulder ailments, while CB Buster Skrine and RB Matt Forte were also limited with knee issues - although Forte has been regularly getting Wednesdays off as rest days.
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