NFL

Jets still refuse to let Christian Hackenberg play

Jesse Reed
Written by Jesse Reed

The New York Jets lost Bryce Petty for the rest of the season, which is a lost one for the franchise. Geno Smith was lost earlier this year due to injury (ACL), and Ryan Fitzpatrick has put together one of the worst seasons of any quarterback in the league. So you’d think that, finally, Christian Hackenberg might get a shot to see what he has learned this season in a meaningless game for the 4-11 team.

Nope. Not happening. The Jets are going with Ryan Fitzpatrick Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (another team in a lost season), who are going to start E.J. Manuel.

Not only is Hackenberg not going to start this weekend, but he’s also not expected to get any action whatsoever, according to head coach Todd Bowles, unless the Jets have to play him for injury reasons.

Remember, this is a kid the Jets traded good draft currency to move up in the second round this past spring. The same kid most analysts pegged as a late-round pick, at best. Despite making the move to trade up for him, the Jets have consistently made it clear Hackenberg is not an option at quarterback right now. Essentially, the franchise is acting like he’s an undrafted kid with no future in the league.

Just how bad can he be? Well, here’s an example. The Jets were loathe to play him this preseason and didn’t let him hit the field until the third game. When they finally relented he showed the same inaccuracy that he did at Penn State. In his two appearances, he was pretty awful, completing 17-of-47 passes (36.2 percent) for 159 yards (3.2 yards per attempt) with a touchdown and two interceptions.

There were rumors during training camp that Hackenberg wass “brutally bad,” and he did nothing in the preseason to change anyone’s mind. He was also spotted bouncing a pass to Petty while playing catch last weekend…from 10 yards away.

That said, what’s the harm in letting him get some valuable game reps in this weekend? It’s not like the Jets can embarrass themselves any more this year than they already have.

At this point, it sure feels like the organization is simply trying to sweep a horrible decision under the rug by refusing to let people be reminded of just how bad Hackenberg really is. Otherwise, refusing to let him play just makes no sense.

About the author

Jesse Reed

Jesse Reed

Managing Editor here at Sportsnaut. Featured on Yardbarker, Foxsports.com and MSN.com, and formerly was a breaking news writer/NFL analyst for Bleacher Report.