Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for New York Jets

Ryan Fitzpatrick will start for the Jets on Sunday

FLORHAM PARK: The trade deadline came and passed. The transaction report was completed, then sent out for all to see. 

On it were moves made by teams; signings, a trade, countless other minor acquisitions. Not many big, mostly small. None that would steal any back-page headlines. 

There was, though, one very large non-move made. On Tuesday, the Jets didn't trade for a quarterback, nor did they sign one. 

On Wednesday, all found out why. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, the quarterback with torn ligaments in his non-throwing, left-hand thumb, is healthy enough to start for New York against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. 

"They have (Fitzpatrick) taped up pretty good, and they have him bandaged up pretty good," Jets coach Todd Bowles said. "He didn't have any pain or any effect like that so he practiced." 

At Wednesday's practice, one Fitzpatrick participated in fully, the quarterback was sporting a protective glove on his left hand. It wasn't as form-fitting as the gloves many receivers wear, but rather bulky near the thumb area. The glove is designed to provide extra protection to ensure no further damage occurs, and also ease some of the pain. 


Against the Raiders last week, Fitzpatrick was originally injured scrambling up the field. As he dove forward, Oakland safety Charles Woodson hit Fitzpatrick's arm, injuring the quarterback's thumb. The next day, Bowles said Fitzpatrick's injury would require surgery, but there was a possibility that procedure could be put off until the offseason if three things happened:

The first was Fitzpatrick simply showing he could play through the pain. The second being Fitzpatrick showing he could take snaps from under center. The third? Fitzpatrick needed to show he could hand the ball off with his non-dominant hand. 

Apparently, he showed he could do all of that. 

"He looked fine. He did everything (on Wednesday)," Bowles said. "He did everything that he normally would do." 

After practice, Fitzpatrick was sporting more of a club. The quarterback said he had his thumb wrapped in ice underneath it.


For Fitzpatrick, these are uncharted waters. While the quarterback has spent 11 seasons playing in the NFL, he's never really dealt with a thumb issue before. As a result, he's turned to others for some help. 

After Fitzpatrick suffered his injury, he says he got a text message during the game, which he read after the game, from Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer suffered the same injury as Fitzpatrick in 2009. In 2008, Palmer and Fitzpatrick were teammates. 

"We talked a little bit," Fitzpatrick said. "We were able to talk and bounce ideas off of each other and all that. He's been a decent asset.

"It was helpful. I think his happened in Week 4 and he was able to finish out the season. Just that alone, having someone that has done it and has gone through it and really somebody who is a good friend of mine. It was just nice to confide in him on some of that stuff." 

While Fitzpatrick will be able to play, it won't be without pain and he won't get a cortisone shot to help it. The surgery, which he says he will get, won't happen until after the season.

So, is there any doubt from the quarterback that he'll be able to play effectively? As it turns out, not at all.

"I'm extremely confident," Fitzpatrick said. "I don't want to put the team in a position where I'm going to go out and hurt the team and turn the ball over, or try to be a hero because something is compromised.

"I want to go out there and help the team. If I can do that without putting me or the team in a compromising position, then I will and I think I'm going to be able to do that."


Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email ( 

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