(Reuters) - Despite benching starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick at the end of the New York Jets’ loss to Arizona on Monday, coach Todd Bowles made it clear that there will be no QB reshuffle moving forward.
“Fitz will be back next week,” Bowles told reporters after the Jets (1-5) fell to the Cardinals 28-3 for their fourth straight defeat.
“(In baseball) If a starting pitcher isn’t doing it in this game, this day, you put in a relief pitcher.” The Jets found no relief even after Bowles pulled Fitzpatrick in favor of Geno Smith with 8:40 remaining in the game. For Smith, it was his first appearance of the season and he was clearly not in form, tossing an interception and committing a fumble in limited action. Fitzpatrick finished the night with just 174 yards and oneinterception. He now has an NFL-high 11 interceptions thrown.
“Tonight was a mixture of things, but in the first half especially, I didn’t hit some throws that I’ve got to hit,” Fitzpatrick said. “There were probably four occasions where I could’ve made a better play. I think we had some penalties but we still had the throws, and I just didn’t make them.”
The Jets are without No. 2 receiver Eric Decker, out with a torn labrum, and with the offense spiraling Fitzpatrick has had some forgettable outings including a six-interception effort against Kansas City last month.
But the QB play has not compelled Bowles to make a permanent change just yet.
“Until I talk with my coaches, as the season goes forward, if we decide to do that, we’ll do it,” Bowles said. Meanwhile, Smith is hoping to earn a long term chance as thesignal-caller.
”As a competitor, I want to play at all times,“ Smith said. ”Can’t reiterate that enough.
“I‘m going to be ready whenever my number is called. Whenever I get my chance, whenever that is, I will go out there and do my best.”
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty