Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Jets Hurting for Certain after Falling to Raiders

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Jets Hurting for Certain after Falling to Raiders

Article excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. - Ryan Fitzpatrick spent most of Sunday's game here on the sidelines, wearing a baseball cap, available only in case of emergency.

Well, Geno Smith laying crumpled on the ground late in the fourth quarter, the victim of a ferocious but legal hit by Oakland linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong, certainly qualified as an emergency.

So in his place stepped Fitzpatrick, the starting quarterback who had suffered a torn ligament in his left thumb (non-throwing) early in the first quarter. He made a two-play cameo before again giving way to Smith.

And while it's too early to say the Jets' season has reached emergency status, coach Todd Bowles certainly is facing his first in- season crisis.

The Jets' potentially fragile psyche, suddenly ineffective defense and their banged-up quarterbacks were the main takeaways from a 34-20 loss to the Raiders at Coliseum. The Jets (4-3) suffered their second straight loss and now have something they haven't had since August: a quarterback quandary.

Fitzpatrick will have an MRI today on his left thumb, but said after the game he was having trouble gripping the ball when taking a snap from center and that he also couldn't execute a handoff because of the injury. His two fourth-quarter snaps came from the shotgun.

Smith (27-for-42, 265 yards, two touchdowns, one interception) seems to be the likelier candidate to start Sunday against visiting Jacksonville, although he was taken to the X-ray room after the game. He suffered an injury to his left shoulder (non-throwing) in the third quarter when he foolishly failed to get out of bounds on a 29-yard scramble before Oakland cornerback David Amerson leveled him. Armstrong drove him into the ground on a fourth-quarter pressure, injuring Smith's abdomen.

Smith said he probably would be "living" in the treatment room this week in hopes of healing quickly enough to play against Jacksonville.

As for Sunday's game, he said, "I may have been playing a little faster than normal simply because I hadn't played all year. …

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