"He's healthy. He's been our starter," Bowles told the media in a conference call on Monday. "We can do more things with him. We don't give away jobs."
The Jets head coach has maintained the notion that if Fitzpatrick were fully healthy from his MCL sprain, he would start over Bryce Petty. In Fitzpatrick's absence on Nov. 13 against the Los Angeles Rams, Petty went 19-for-32 for 163 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Now that Fitzpatrick is named starter against the Patriots, all signs point to the quarterback's knee being strong enough to play.
Fitzpatrick is tied for the NFL lead with 13 interceptions to his eight touchdowns. With those struggles combined with the Jets' record at 3-7, some believed Petty should continue to start under center even if Fitzpatrick was healthy, as an audition for next season. Petty and Christian Hackenberg are the only quarterbacks on the roster that will be under contract.
Nonetheless, Fitzpatrick will be the starter. If it means anything, the journeyman quarterback has bounced back slightly in his previous five games. He has four touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 57 percent of his passes.
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).