It appears that Ryan Fitzpatrick has done enough in two starts to gain the confidence of the New York Jets, with head coach Todd Bowles admitting on Tuesday that even if Geno Smith was available it would be the bearded one who would still get the start.
Off to a 2-0 start, the Jets have ridden a strong defense and an offense that can best be described as tidy and efficient to their winning ways. Fitzpatrick has proven to be a good fit in offensive coordinator Chan Gailey's scheme, something not surprising given his previous relationship with the Jets assistant. That Smith is unable to start yet as he continues to recover from jaw surgery is one thing, but even if he was ready to start it is clear that the incumbent quarterback has lost his place with the team.
At least for now.
"I thought he did a good job managing the ball game. Obviously, he threw a pick in the red zone, down there, and that’s something we don’t want, but he did a good job. He had command of the offense, understood what they were trying to do to him and we stuck to the run and didn’t air out all over the place which kept their offense off the field as well. I thought he did a good job," head coach Todd Bowles said on Tuesday in a conference call.
"Ryan is our starting quarterback right now. We’re doing well, we have good chemistry going and everything else and Geno understands that and as we go, Ryan is our quarterback. We’ll go forward from there."
Later when asked if Fitzpatrick would hypothetically be the starter were Smith healthy, Bowles said "Yes, Ryan is the starter."
--> Injured in the second half of the Monday night win over the Indianapolis Colts, the wide receiver's knee is being called by Bowles as a "day-to-day" injury. He was uncertain of his star's status for this Sunday.
"I don’t know, I’ll have to see how he’s doing later in the week. If he’s not moving well obviously he’s not going to play," Bowles said. "Time will tell. We have a little bit of time, so I’m hopeful, but it’s not out of the realm that he won’t play either."
--> Injured in training camp, Devin Smith's ribs might be adequately healed to let him make his NFL debut.
"I’m hopeful he will be," Bowles said. "He still has some things that he has to do so, we’ll see how the week progresses."
Smith was inactive for Monday night's win. He did not play at all in preseason.