But moving forward, he will not lean on head coach Todd Bowles to play him — or not play him.
“I would say first and foremost Todd makes the final decision on who to play,” Maccagnan told NFL Network’s Kimberly Jones in an interview on Wednesday’s Up To The Minute Live. “I know especially when you, as with all positions, you basically want to play the players that have earned that ability to play on the field. But really those are decisions Todd makes. He takes counsel from his staff and myself, but at the end of the day, it’s his call.
“The one thing I would say is, when you make that decision, you want to make sure that you’re potentially setting the player up for success not failure, that they’ve earn that opportunity and you don’t make the decision lightly. From that standpoint, the young players will get their opportunity at some point in time, and then we’ll see how they progress and how they perform. But again, those are decisions Todd makes, and I’m sticking with him.”
His words set up an interesting bye week in Florham Park where the team will have to theoretically decide between playing Fitzpatrick coming off a sprained MCL — an injury that caused him to miss last week’s 9-6 loss to the Rams — or stick with 2015 fourth-round pick Bryce Petty.
To parse Maccagnan’s words a bit, the quarterback has to earn the spot and the quarterback cannot be set up for failure. Based on what Bowles saw Sunday against the Rams, is Petty good enough to hang around against the New England Patriots on Nov. 27 coming off a bye? Would that constitute setting him up for failure?
Furthermore, did Fitzpatrick, who leads the league with 13 interceptions, “earn the ability” to play on the field?
The Jets (3-7) are clearly keeping their options open, but might have a hard time deciding between the lesser of two evils.