Why is Bowles keeping us guessing on Jets backup QB?

Todd Bowles knows who his backup QB will be on Sunday. He just isn’t saying who.

After Geno Smith was knocked out for the year with a torn ACL last week, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg moved a rung closer to the top of the depth chart. But Bowles won’t reveal which one will be active on Sunday against the Browns.

“I’ve decided, but I haven’t talked to them yet to tell (the coaches) what I’ve decided,” the head coach said.

Why does it matter? Because the backup quarterback Sunday could offer a signal about which of the two young quarterbacks will get the first chance to get some actual game work if/when the Jets are out of the playoffs and elect to focus on the future.

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Rookie Christian Hackenberg moves up one rung on the QB ladder with the injury to Geno Smith.

Rookie Christian Hackenberg moves up one rung on the QB ladder with the injury to Geno Smith.

(Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Petty was ahead of Hackenberg heading into the year, but after missing a month with an injury, it may be a closer competition now.

“Before the injury, they weren’t on equal footing,” Bowles said. “Petty was clearly ahead of him. He’s been hurt for a months, so the other guy got a lot of reps.”

Petty has been back in practice for a couple of weeks now and said Friday that he is healthy. Bowles confirmed “both of them are ready to play.”

Bryce Petty is 'ready to play' after missing a month of practice with an injury.

Bryce Petty is ‘ready to play’ after missing a month of practice with an injury.

(Matt Rourke/AP)

But whether the backup quarterback on Sunday is the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart or if Petty’s injury could still be a factor, Bowles wouldn’t say.

Todd Bowles is OK with Ryan Fitzpatrick’s ire, on one condition

“No offense, but if I’m not going to tell you who it is, why are we having this discussion?” Bowles said, growing prickly. “It’s really a waste of time. I’m not going to tell you anything. It’s not open for discussion, guys, let it ride.”

Tags:
nfl
new york jets
todd bowles
geno smith
bryce petty
christian hackenberg

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