The future will have to wait. Again.
Despite another dispiriting loss, and with the playoffs just about out of reach, Jets head coach Todd Bowles has again resisted making a quarterback change. Rather than turn to 26-year-old backup Bryce Petty or 22-year-old Christian Hackenberg, Bowles said he is again sticking with his regular starter: 38-year-old Josh McCown.
"He's playing well right now," Bowles said Monday on a conference call with the media. "Josh is our quarterback."
That is not likely to change any time soon, as multiple team sources have told SNY over the last few weeks. The Jets are adamant that they will not make a quarterback change while the team is still mathematically alive in the AFC playoff race (they're two games back with five to go), and those sources said that barring an injury to McCown, the Jets have no plans currently in place to insert Petty or Hackenberg into a game at all this year.
Surely, there could be a change if McCown's play slips. However, the Jets have been generally pleased with McCown's overall play, including his 19-of-36, 307-yard, three-touchdown performance in Sunday's 35-27 loss to the Carolina Panthers. That game, of course, included a terrible fumble that Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly returned for a touchdown to give the Panthers a late lead.
Interestingly, there was some concern on Sunday that McCown was injured. After the game, a video on social media showed him signing autographs with what appeared to be a black cast on his left (non-throwing) wrist. But on Monday, McCown insisted it wasn't a cast -- just some sort of wrap -- and that "everything is good."
What was not good, of course, was his fumble, which was still bothering him on Monday afternoon. "I wish I would've held onto that ball and just ate it," he said. It came as he was being sacked and it looked as if he was trying to throw or just shovel the ball away. Instead, it slipped out of his hands before he could even start his throwing motion by bringing his arm back.
"Looking back at the tape, it was a lot tighter around me than I thought," McCown said. "But (fullback Lawrence Thomas) was right there to my right and I thought I could dirt the ball at his feed and avoid being in a third-and-15 situation. I didn't get that done. You try to make plays when you can. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. And that one hurt us, so yeah, obviously I look back and I regret that.
"Trust me, the next time I want to be better at that and I don't want that to happen. It's frustrating. IT makes me sick."
The good news for McCown is there will be a "next time" when he starts for the Jets on Sunday afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs.