Quarterback Bryce Petty of the New York Jets was injured in their preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles. While we waited with baited breath on the severity, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Sep 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Both the New York Jets and Bryce Petty are probably happy for that, but the team didn’t place Petty on injured reserve to open up a roster spot, and that’s probably because they see him coming back.
That could be a good thing for Petty’s future. Even though Bowles said that Geno Smith is the No. 2 quarterback, once Petty is healthy that could change. He won the job due to injury, and if Petty bounces back, the job could be his.
Petty showed some signs of improvement during the preseason. The injury could be a blessing in disguise for Petty, though. Let’s examine the top three reasons why.
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) looks to pass against the New York Giants during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
2. A learning experience
The next man up philosophy is prevalent in the NFL. Some players need to learn how to be starters and some backups.
In the case of Petty, more time as the third-string quarterback means learning how to be a good backup. Quarterback Geno Smith had to step up and be ready against Oakland last season, and if Petty was to ascend to No. 2 upon return from injury, he’d have to be ready as well.
Being behind Smith for a little longer can only help in this regard. Smith now has to be the veteran mentor, because all signs point to him not being a Jet next season.
Smith has handled being the backup well. So, there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to handle that role well also.
Aug 27, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) and New York Jets quarterback Bryce Petty (9) talk at the end of the game at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the New York Jets 21-20. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
1. No structural damage
As mentioned earlier, it’s “just a bruise” to Petty’s throwing shoulder. That’s the best news the Jets could hear.
No structural damage is good in two ways. The first is that no surgery is needed, and he won’t be lost for the season.
Secondly, one of the assets that makes him special, his arm strength, won’t be compromised. After surgery, he may have come back with lesser arm strength, which would have hurt his chances to become the starter.