Todd Bowles: Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain Jets' starter

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  • By Around The NFL staff NFL.com
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Geno Smith replaced Ryan Fitzpatrick in the fourth quarter of the Jets' 28-3 loss to the Cardinals on Monday night, but coach Todd Bowles isn't prepared to name a new starter.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Bowles said Fitzpatrick will remain the Jets' starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

"Smith played (the role of) a relief pitcher," Bowles said. "Fitz will be back next week ... It definitely wasn't Fitz's fault. He barely had any time to throw."

After another scattershot performance from the journeyman starter, the Jets turned back to Smith for the first time since November 1, 2015. Once the projected starter of this offense under Bowles, Smith famously lost his job thanks to a broken jaw provided by former teammate IK Enemkpali.

Fitzpatrick left Monday's game completing 16 of 31 passes for 174 yards and an interception. Fitzpatrick has yet to throw a touchdown pass in the second half of a football game this season. He has had just two games with a quarterback rating over 90 and currently leads the NFL in picks.

"Tonight was a mixture of things, but in the first half, especially, I just didn't hit some throws that I got to hit," Fitzpatrick said. "There were probably four occasions where I could have made a better play.

"I have to play better."

It's unclear at this point what, exactly, Bowles' plans are beyond next week. Is the quarterback position on the verge of opening up? The Jets could safely cut ties with Fitzpatrick after this season after wisely playing a long game of contractual chess with him this offseason. Smith, meanwhile, has been quietly biding his time for another chance.

"As a competitor, I want to play, at all times," Smith said after the game. "I think you guys know that. I can't reiterate that enough.

"I'm ready."

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