Todd Bowles might have settled on a backup quarterback, but he isn’t revealing that information to the public.
For the second straight week, Bowles is refusing to name a No. 2 signal-caller. The Jets face the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday.
Christian Hackenberg served as the backup in the Jets’ season-opening loss to the Bills, but a source told the Daily News that was only because Bryce Petty was not entirely healed from a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his left knee. Petty has said repeatedly, including Wednesday, that he is healthy. He’s participated fully in every practice since the start of the regular season.
When asked Wednesday if Hackenberg will be his backup again this week, Bowles said, “I haven’t decided on that yet.”
Bowles said it’s possible he could spend the rest of the season deciding on a backup for each game. But he also noted there’s a chance he names a permanent backup at some point in 2017.
“It could go either way,” Bowles said.
Obviously, the coaching staff conducted its most significant evaluation of Hackenberg and Petty during OTAs, training camp and the preseason. At this point, Bowles, offensive coordinator John Morton and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates know what they have in both players.
So what factors play into Bowles’ choice on the backup quarterback?
“Just my decision,” Bowles said.
Petty admitted there’s not much he can do at this juncture to win the job.
“It’s not really about that. I think that part is already done with OTAs, training camp, preseason,” Petty told the Daily News. “So now it’s all about the Jets. It’s about what we can do as a team, as an offense to make sure that we’re in the win column.”
Naturally, though, Petty would rather be active than inactive on Sundays.
“At the same time, I don’t sit there and sulk on why,” Petty said. “I would much rather see this locker room win. That’s really how I view it and how I see it and how I’ve done it since I’ve been here. Obviously as a competitor you want to be out there, but it’s what’s best for the team.”
TE Jordan Leggett (knee), LB Bruce Carter (sprained ankle), TE Eric Tomlinson (sprained elbow) and S Rontez Miles (fractured eye socket) all didn’t practice Wednesday. Bowles did not rule any of the four players out for Sunday’s game in Oakland.
LB Edmond Robinson (groin) and CB Morris Claiborne (sore ankle) were limited.