NFL Wire News

Scrambling Jets QBs need sliding tips


The Sports Xchange

Maybe it’s time for Jets head coach Todd Bowles to call up New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi and see if he can offer some sliding lessons to his quarterbacks.

Bowles’ predecessor, Rex Ryan, garnered some derisive chuckles in 2009, when he asked Girardi to give then-rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez some tips on how to slide. The meeting happened days after Sanchez suffered a left knee injury while scrambling in a game.

The Jets lost not one but two quarterbacks to scrambling injuries during Sunday’s loss to the Oakland Raiders. In the first quarter, starter Ryan Fitzpatrick suffered torn ligaments in his left thumb after being hit by Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson at the end of a 12-yard gain. In the second half, backup Geno Smith took two enormous hits, including a massive shot to his left shoulder from cornerback David Amerson at the end of a 29-yard gain. Smith could have stepped out of bounds at least 10 yards earlier and avoided contact.

Bowles said Monday he didn’t know if either Fitzpatrick or Smith would play on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars at MetLife Stadium. But he knew he was not happy with either of them for the reckless play that has put the Jets in quite a bind.

“I thought in both cases, they both should have slid, and I’ll say that again,” Bowles said. The competition in those guys – in the heat of battle, it’s hard to tell. But we’ve got to be smarter than that for the good of the team. You can’t fault the competitiveness. We just have to play a lot smarter.”

—Bowles didn’t waver in his no excuses mantra Monday, a day after the Jets lost by two touchdowns in a game in which a backup quarterback (Smith) took snaps from a backup center (Wesley Johnson). The latter was playing in place of Nick Mangold, who missed the game with a neck injury.

“I don’t think it was that damaging because Geno has played in some games and he’s a starting-caliber quarterback and I thought he did some good things yesterday,” Bowles said. “I thought Wesley fought. I thought Wesley did a decent job for the most part. We didn’t drop off too much there. It’s damaging if you let it be damaging.”

—WR Chris Owusu (concussions) was placed on injured reserve Monday, three days after he was waived/injured. Owusu suffered two concussions this season, the latest on Oct. 25 against the New England Patriots. He has suffered at least five concussions dating back to his days at Stanford. Owusu finished the season with six catches for 80 yards as well as 58 yards on kickoff returns.

—C Nick Mangold (neck) missed the fourth game of his 10-season career on Sunday, when he didn’t play in the Jets’ 34-20 loss to the Raiders. Mangold, who was injured when Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins was blocked into him during a 30-23 loss on Oct. 25, did not practice last week and was listed as doubtful on the final injury report. His availability for this week is uncertain. Mangold also missed two games in 2011 and one game last season.

—RB Steven Ridley was activated off the Physically Unable to Perform list on Friday. He was active but did not play in the Jets’ 34-20 loss to the Raiders on Sunday. Ridley had not been on an active roster since Oct. 12, 2014, when he suffered a torn ACL and torn MCL while playing for the Patriots.

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