Bryce Petty's shoulder injury drains suspense out of Jets' QB quandary

PHILADELPHIA -- Bryan Braman may have solved the New York Jets' quarterback dilemma.


Braman, a third-string defensive end for the Philadelphia Eagles, sent QB Bryce Petty to the locker room Thursday night with a right-shoulder injury in the first quarter of the Jets' 14-6 loss at Lincoln Financial Field -- a development that could affect their much-scrutinized depth chart. It depends on the severity of the injury, of course.

Initially, the Jets announced a "probable" return for Petty (4-for-6, 87 yards), but he never left the locker room. We're taking a bit of a leap, but they could put him on, say, short-term injured reserve, saving them from having to cut one of their four quarterbacks. It would be a tough break for Petty, who has made progress in his second year, but it would be a convenient injury in terms of roster management.

The preseason finale was billed as Petty's big chance. With starter Ryan Fitzpatrick and Geno Smith getting the night off, Petty started the game and threw a 44-yard touchdown pass on his third series. He absorbed a big hit on his left shoulder, but he landed on his throwing shoulder and got up slowly.

Petty, rebounding from a disappointing game last week, has done enough to make the team. He's not ready to be the No. 2, but his arrow is pointing up. The Jets, of all teams, can't discard quarterbacks with upside.

Even if Petty's injury is minor, the Jets still should keep all four quarterbacks. It's unconventional -- it hasn't happened in the NFL since 2013 -- but each player has value for a different reason. During an in-game TV interview with CBS, general manager Mike Maccagnan sounded like he was leaning toward keeping the gang of four intact. If there was any doubt about Smith's status, it should be gone now.

Braman apparently has ruined the suspense of cut-down day.

Give that man a clipboard: Rookie Christian Hackenberg, who replaced Petty, was dreadful. Every rookie quarterback experiences growing pains, but Hackenberg has taken them to a new level. Frankly, he looked lost at times. Under pressure in the red zone, he panicked and made an ill-advised throw that was intercepted and returned 90 yards for a touchdown. He finished 11-for-31, with 54 yards and a 30.7 passer rating, failing to generate any points in three-plus quarters.

Fortunately for the Jets (and Hackenberg), he probably won't play another game until next preseason. His roster spot is secure because Maccagnan isn't about to cut a second-round pick, but Hackenberg has a LONG way to go.

Kiddie corps: Receiver Robby Anderson, considered a long shot at the start of training camp, may have earned a spot on the 53-man roster. It'll be tough to stash him on the practice squad because he may not clear waivers, not after posting eye-popping preseason numbers -- 13 catches for 264 yards and three touchdowns. He flashed his trademark deep speed, burning third-string cornerback JaCorey Shepherd for a 44-yard touchdown. Anderson, undrafted out of Temple, is a one-trick pony, but he's pretty good at that one trick -- the home run play. He doesn't play special teams, which hurts his chances.

Here's to you, Mr. Robinson: After missing the first three games, running back Khiry Robinson made his Jets debut. He carried the rock -- a lot. He finished with 25 yards on 13 carries. He was as advertised, showing power between the tackles and a high-energy running style. Robinson was impatient on some runs, not waiting for his blocks, but it was his first live action since last November. That's when he broke his leg while playing for the New Orleans Saints. Despite the long layoff, Robinson projects as the No. 3 running back.

A night of rest: As expected, coach Todd Bowles rested most of his starters and key reserves. Ben Ijalana and Brent Qvale rotated at right tackle; first-round linebacker Darron Lee saw action, as did linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, who flashed early.

Sitting out: Injured players who didn't play: wide receivers Brandon Marshall (hip), Quincy Enunwa (concussion) and Kenbrell Thompkins (groin); cornerbacks Dexter McDougle (hamstring) and Dee Milliner (hamstring); and linebackers Jordan Jenkins (calf), David Harris (shoulder) and Bruce Carter (shoulder). Marshall, Enunwa and Harris would've had the night off anyway. Thompkins and McDougle are squarely on the bubble.