The New York Jets have decided to start Ryan Fitzpatrick in its season finale Sunday at home against the Buffalo Bills. With Bryce Petty’s season ending with a shoulder injury many fans have clamored for the Jets to start 2016 second round pick Christian Hackenberg.
The arguments are valid to play and not play Hackenberg in the Jets’ season finale. By playing Hackenberg he would gain some valuable experience that can help him learn in the offseason and prepare for next season. By not playing Hackenberg the young quarterback can enter the 2017 offseason with a clean slate and a fully healthy roster to work with.
Hackenberg stressed he’s happy with the Jets process and will be ready to play if needed on Sunday.
“I’ve had plenty of time to learn, so I feel like I have a good grasp of the offense,” said Hackenberg. “This week’s been great, getting reps. So I think I’m ready whenever I need to be called, and if that happens, I know that I’ve prepared to the best of my ability.”
The Jets are making the right decision sticking to its plan and not playing Hackenberg on Sunday. In the past, the Jets have not stuck to its plans for its young quarterbacks and this has impacted their development. The most recent example is Geno Smith who should’ve had at least one red shirt year on the bench before taking over full time for Mark Sanchez.
Hackenberg should prepare this offseason to be the Jets starter in 2017 after the team invested a second round draft pick in him. The Jets should bring in an experienced veteran such as Brian Hoyer to compete with Hackenberg, but it should be the young quarterbacks time to shine and take over the team in 2017.