ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Todd Bowles finally revealed the Jets’ No. 2 quarterback.
Christian Hackenberg, not 2015 fourth-round pick Bryce Petty, will backup Josh McCown in Sunday’s season opener against the Buffalo Bills. Petty was among the seven players listed as inactive.
Tight end Jordan Leggett (knee), safety Rontez Miles (eye), receiver Jeremy Kerley (coach decision), cornerback Derrick Jones (coach decision), guard Dakota Dozier (coach decision), and tight end Neal Sterling (coach decision) are the other Jets inactive.
The decision to go with Hackenberg behind McCown is a bit of a surprise. In training camp and the preseason, he was clearly the third-best quarterback. Despite receiving the most reps of any the final three weeks of camp, and starting the second and third preseason games, Hackenberg showed he can’t yet be relied upon.
In exhibition play, Hackenberg completed just 42 of 74 passes (56.8 percent) and threw for 372 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions — both returned for touchdowns. He averaged just five yards an attempt, and led the Jets to points on just five of his 36 drives.
Petty saw action in three games before he hurt his knee — he practiced fully this week. He completed 32 of 48 passes (66.7 percent) for 426 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He went 15 of 18 for 250 yards and three scores in the third preseason game against the Giants, and had a perfect quarterback rating (158.3).
Petty undoubtedly has his flaws, but if something were to happen to McCown, he should be able to hold down the fort. Hackenberg, who many believed was a three-, four-year project when drafted, looks to be a liability. He struggles when asked to make protection adjustments, dissect a coverage, and get off his first read.
Bowles will address the media after the game.
Khari Lee, Vlad Ducasse, Kaelin Clay, Tanner Vallejo, Greg Mabin, Jerel Worthy and Conor McDermot are inactive for the Bills.
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