The Jets will start Ryan Fitzpatrick over Christian Hackenberg at quarterback during their final game of the season Sunday against the Bills, head coach Todd Bowles announced.
Bowles said "he was the backup, now he's the starter" when asked why he chose Fitzpatrick over Hackenberg, later noting that Bryce Petty -- who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury on Saturday -- had four games to prepare to be the starter.
"Anybody that hasn't played. They won't be ready until they play, but you don't leap frog people to start playing," Bowles said about Hackenberg. "If Fitz gets hurt and he gets to play, you'll see him play, but if not it doesn't mean anything plus or minus that we're not playing him this year. We had a plan for him going in when we drafted him. He's taken a lot of reps in practice. If Fitz gets hurt, he'll go in there and play. If Fitz doesn't, he won't play, but he's ready to play. He'll be ready to play. Obviously with experience comes better play and you'll see a bunch of things, but putting him in right now isn't going to hurt or help him."
While Bowles doesn't plan to play Hackenberg at all on Sunday, he said he could get some time if the game gets out of hand in the fourth quarter.
Hackenberg, 21, was selected in the second round (51st overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He has yet to appear in a regular season game for the Jets.