On Monday, New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles officially announced that quarterback Josh McCown will be sidelined for the final three games of the 2017 season.
The 38-year-old quarterback fractured his left hand in New York’s 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday and will undergo surgery.
Bowles announced after the game that third-year quarterback Bryce Petty would take over the starting role for New York’s next contest, a road meeting with the New Orleans Saints, if McCown were ruled out.
“It just sucks,” an emotional McCown said after the game. “When you can’t be out there for your guys, that’s the hardest thing. It’s just disappointing. I just hate that it went this way.”
McCown was enjoying the best season of his 15-year career. He set his own personal single-season records for passing yards (2,926), touchdowns (18) and completion percentage (67.3).
“It’s been the best because of the guys,” he said after the loss while fighting back tears. “Not numbers, nope. It’s been the best because of the group of men in the locker room.”
“I’m just proud to be a part of it. I’m thankful they let me be a part of this team.”
“His leadership meant a lot — from the time he walked in the door, just always doing the right thing, saying the right things and helping everybody on the team,” Bowles said. “Not to mention the fact that he made some plays out there on the field that have helped us out and lined everybody up, especially the new receivers coming in and having to play right away on short weeks-notice.”
In relief of the injured McCown, Petty completed two of nine passes for 14 yards. Last season, Petty started four games and took over for Ryan Fitzpatrick mid-game twice. In all, he completed 56.4 percent of his passes for 809 yards, three touchdowns and seven interceptions.
The McCown injury also nearly guarantees the possibility that 2016 second-round pick Christian Hackenberg will be made active against New Orleans for the second time all season.