New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles said rookie quarterback Christian Hackenberg is "not too far behind" second-year quarterback Bryce Petty for the backup quarterback role, according to NJ.com's Darryl Slater, after Geno Smith suffered a season-ending torn ACL last week.
Bowles elected to have Petty, whom the Jets drafted in the fourth round in 2015, serve as Ryan Fitzpatrick's backup in Sunday's 31-28 win over the Cleveland Browns ahead of Hackenberg, the team's second-round pick in 2016.
"Bryce has seen more plays than Hack has seen," Bowles said of Petty, who did not play as a rookie last season. "Bryce has been here a year, and he has a little more experience, so we went that way. ... I thought Bryce was ahead of him, but Hack is not too far behind."
Smith, who took over the starting quarerback role from Fitzpatrick for Week 7, tore his ACL last week and will miss the rest of the season.
Fitzpatrick went 16-for-34 for 228 yards and one touchdown on Sunday. Petty was seen warming up after Fitzpatrick took a hit trying to scramble for a first down, though Fitzpatrick did not leave the game.
Petty, 25, threw for 8,055 yards, 61 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his last two seasons as Baylor's starting quarterback in 2013 and 2014.
Hackenberg, 21, threw for 8,457 yards, 48 touchdowns and 31 interceptions in three seasons as Penn State's starting quarterback from 2013 to 2015.