Jets quarterback Bryce Petty threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson before injuring his shoulder, but a pair of big plays helped the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Jets 14-6 Thursday night.
Paul Turner returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown and Ed Reynolds took an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Eagles (4-0) complete an undefeated preseason for the first time since 2012, when they finished 4-12 in Andy Reid's last season as coach.
Petty tossed a perfect strike down the right sideline that Anderson caught in stride after beating JaCorey Shepherd. But the second-year pro took a hard shot on the play and left with a shoulder injury. Petty didn't return even though the Jets said he was probable to come back.
Petty's injury could solve New York's quarterback dilemma. Geno Smith, a former starter, is expected to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick for the second straight season. Rookie Christian Hackenberg is a second-round pick, so his spot should be secure. The Jets (1-3) are considering keeping all four quarterbacks on the roster, but Petty could end up on injured reserve.
Petty, a fourth-round pick in 2015, was 4 of 6 for 87 yards.
Hackenberg followed an up-and-down debut against the Giants last week with an awful performance. He was 11 of 31 for 54 yards and one pick. Hackenberg made a poor throw while being hit by Bryan Braman, and Reynolds reached down to intercept it and ran it back 90 yards.
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It is hard to know how coaches and the front office always treat the performances of preseason games, but I don't know what else WR Robby Anderson could have done to make this final roster. Tonight, Anderson caught a 44-yard touchdown, pushing his preseason totals to 13 catches for 264 yards and three scores. I know the Jets have a squeeze at the position, but unless the Jets were keeping Kenbrell Thompkins under wraps all preseason, I think Anderson could realistically be the third most targeted wide receiver on this team by the end of the season if they'd let him be.
As far as Bryce Petty? He looked sharp but did sustain an injury to his shoulder. An X-ray came back negative after the game but it is unclear how serious the injury is. Petty was announced a "probable" return during the game but the Jets opted for the safer plan to let Christian Hackenberg see extended duty against the Eagles. Petty's play might embolden the Jets to see what they might be able to grab in trade for Geno Smith. With Minnesota and Dallas reeling from injuries to their quarterbacks, expect the Jets to be active. If not, maybe the Jets can get cute and see if they can slide Petty onto the IR to alleviate the four quarterback situation.
As for Hackenberg? He was abysmal. After the scoring drive by Petty and Anderson, the Jets were unable to sniff the end zone again all night. Hackenberg went 11-for-31 for 54 yards and an interception. Philly's Ed Reynolds intercepted a ball and ran it back 90 yards on a pass that Hack never should have thrown due to pressure. Hackenberg's numbers could have been worse when an errant pass was nearly intercepted along the boundary in the fourth quarter. Hackenberg has some attributes of an NFL quarterback, but it is going to take a long time for him to become a starting caliber player in this league.
On defense, Taiwan Jones and Ronald Martin both made strong cases as to why they should be included on the roster. Time will tell.
A hard road lies ahead in cutting down the Jets roster from 75 to just 53 players. Cuts could start leaking out in the morning and last all the way through Monday, so keep checking SNY for all the latest updates.