Jets place McCown on IR, officially end QB's season
By DENNIS WASZAK Jr.
NEW YORK (AP) Josh McCown is officially done for the season - and maybe for his career.
The New York Jets placed the 38-year-old quarterback on injured reserve on Tuesday, two days after he broke his left hand in a 23-0 loss at Denver.
Coach Todd Bowles announced Monday that McCown will need season-ending surgery, so the move was just a formality.
The Jets promoted running back Akeem Judd from the practice squad to replace McCown on the active roster. They also signed running back Jahad Thomas and quarterback Joel Stave to the practice squad. Offensive lineman Geoff Gray terminated his practice squad contract to sign elsewhere.
McCown's non-throwing hand was injured in the third quarter against the Broncos . He was emotional after the game, fighting back tears as he talked about having the best season of his 15-year career. McCown set individual highs with 2,926 yards passing and 18 touchdown throws, and quickly established himself as a respected leader in the Jets' locker room.
"It's been the best because of the guys, not numbers," McCown said Sunday. "It's been the best because of the group of men in the locker room. I'm just proud to be a part of it and I'm so thankful they let me be a part of this team."
McCown, who signed a one-year, $6 million deal last March, is scheduled to become a free agent after this season. It's uncertain whether the Jets will bring him back - or if McCown will even want to play again.
During an appearance on the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Tuesday, running back Matt Forte said he spoke to McCown in the locker room after the game about the injury.
"He told me, like, `That might be my last pass,'" said Forte, who caught a 14-yard toss from McCown on the play. "I was like, `Of the season or ...?' Because you never know. I mean, this is Josh's 15th year in the league."
Bryce Petty will take over as New York's starting quarterback, beginning Sunday at New Orleans. Christian Hackenberg, a second-round draft pick last year who has yet to take a snap in a regular-season game, is also on the active roster.
The Jets (5-8) currently hold the No. 10 spot in next year's draft, but could move up a few places. They have tough games coming up at New Orleans, home against the Los Angeles Chargers and at New England to finish the season. New York could consider taking a top-rated quarterback with its high pick.
Judd was signed to the Jets' practice squad in October after he was released by Tennessee. He was signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent this year out of Mississippi, where he rushed for 1,251 yards and nine touchdowns in his career.
Thomas, a former Temple star, is making his third stint this season on the Jets' practice squad.
Stave, who spent time with Washington this season, was an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin last year. He is the Badgers' winningest quarterback, going 31-10 during his college career.
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Updated December 12, 2017