Fitzpatrick has surgery, will still play
NEW YORK (AP) It was a busy day for the New York Jets in the operating room.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a torn ligament in his left thumb repaired and running back Zac Stacy had season-ending surgery on his broken left ankle.
Coach Todd Bowles said during a conference call that Fitzpatrick is still on track to return for the Jets’ next game at Houston on Nov. 22.
”That’s the plan,” Bowles said.
Fitzpatrick tore the ulnar collateral ligament in the thumb on his non-throwing hand at Oakland on Nov. 1 and played through it in two games while wearing a brace. With a break after New York’s 22-17 loss to Buffalo on Thursday night, Fitzpatrick opted to have the procedure now instead of after the season.
He said earlier in the week he was told by doctors the longer he waits, surgery could become more complicated because the ligament could start to shrink.
Fitzpatrick’s injury is expected to take several weeks to heal, but he and the Jets are confident he’ll be able to continue to play through it using the brace and wrap on the thumb. He has not had any issues handling snaps or handing the ball off. Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,983 yards and 15 touchdowns – the most in a season by a Jets QB since Mark Sanchez had 26 in 2011 – and nine interceptions.
With his two TD passes against the Bills, Fitzpatrick surpassed Sid Luckman Sid Luckman (137) for most touchdowns by an Ivy League quarterback with 138.
Stacy was carted from the field after returning a kickoff on the final play of the first half against the Bills.
The backup running back ran 9 yards as time expired and was tackled by Jonathan Meeks and Bacarri Rambo, with his legs twisting awkwardly under him. As the teams jogged off the field to head to their locker rooms, Stacy remained down and clutching at his left leg.
Team doctors ran onto the field to attend to Stacy and worked on his left ankle for a few minutes before helping him onto a cart and into the locker room. Stacy led the Jets with 10 kickoff returns for 204 yards – a 20.4 average – after replacing the injured Chris Owusu.
Chris Ivory and Stevan Ridley are the Jets’ only healthy running backs, but Bowles hopes to have Bilal Powell back from a high ankle sprain that has sidelined him the past four games.
NOTES: Bowles said WR Eric Decker has a sore shoulder, and WR Brandon Marshall is dealing with toe and ankle injuries that have ailed him the last few weeks. … RG Willie Colon was placed on season-ending injured reserve earlier in the week because his right knee had chronic swelling. Bowles said the original plan was to have Colon rest last Sunday against Jacksonville and be ready to play Buffalo. ”It’s been a bad knee for a while,” Bowles said. ”He’s been controlling it pretty good, but it took a turn for the worse. And we really didn’t have much choice in that.” Bowles added that placing Colon on IR was ”probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to do” because he considers the 32-year-old guard ”such a warrior.” … Bowles was unaware that QB Geno Smith reportedly used a vulgarity toward a reporter after the game. ”That’s the first I’ve heard about it,” he said. ”I’ll gather more information and have a better idea about it.”
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