Bryce Petty has avoided disaster.
The Jets quarterback, who left Saturday’s preseason loss to the Giants late in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury, is dealing with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, according to a source.
Petty underwent an MRI Sunday to determine the nature and severity of the injury. It remains to be seen if he will play in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Eagles, but avoiding any torn ligaments is a huge win for the 26-year-old signal-caller.
Petty was putting together the best performance of his NFL career Saturday night before his left foot got caught under backup lineman Ben Braden, and his knee gave out. He finished the game 15 of 18 passing for 250 yards, three touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Bryce Petty to undergo MRI on knee after exiting Giants game
Petty said his knee felt “weird” and “loose” when speaking in the locker room after the 32-31 loss.
The former fourth-round pick out of Baylor departed at the two-minute warning. Initially, Petty dropped to the ground clutching his left knee. He eventually walked off under his own power, but when he tried to test the injury by shuffling on the sideline, his knee collapsed. He limped along the sideline, and later, the training staff wrapped the joint in bandages.
“Just not stable,” Petty said of his attempt to test his knee, appearing to signal significant damage.
But Petty — who dealt with multiple shoulder injuries last season — received good news Sunday, and now he’s back in legitimate contention for the Jets’ starting quarterback job, especially after his performance against Big Blue.
Petty was replaced by Christian Hackenberg, who had looked overmatched against the starting Giants defense in the first half. He threw two pick-sixes and helped generate just three points. The Jets trailed by 26 points at halftime.
Petty, though, pulled the Jets to within a touchdown late behind an impressive second-half comeback. He found rookie ArDarius Stewart for a 25-yard touchdown late in the third quarter. A little more than two minutes later, he hit running back Bilal Powell over the middle, and Powell scampered 85 yards for a touchdown. Then in the fourth quarter, with the Jets in the red zone, Petty moved around in the pocket and extended the play before connecting with a wide-open Stewart for the duo’s second TD. “He led the guys in the second half,” Todd Bowles said of Petty. “He pushed the ball down the field, he made some good plays.”
Bowles revealed after the game that he had “a thought” about starting Petty in Saturday’s game. But because Petty received starting action at the end of the 2016 regular season, Bowles felt it was more useful to start Hackenberg — who redshirted last year — for a second straight week.
Petty remains in a three-man competition for the starting job with Hackenberg and Josh McCown, Bowles said after Saturday’s loss. McCown has played just one series all preseason, a touchdown drive on the opening possession against the Titans earlier this month. He didn’t play a single snap against the Lions or Giants.
McCown also barely played in practice last week. Bowles expects to name his starter sometime early this week.
“That’s his decision, and he’s going to make whatever decision is best for this football team,” Petty said. “What you want to do is just make it as hard as possible.”
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