QB will start Nov. 2 vs. Giants
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Chad Pennington will make his return to the New York Jets on Sunday, although not as the starter.
Coach Herman Edwards said Monday that Vinny Testaverde will start at quarterback, and Pennington will enter the game off the bench. Pennington, slated to be the starter this season, has missed the whole year after breaking his left wrist Aug. 23 in a preseason game against the New York Giants.
Edwards said he wants to get Testaverde in the flow of the game, but would not say when he plans to put Pennington in. He made the decision to start Testaverde because he does not know whether Pennington is in condition to play four quarters.
"Obviously can he make it through a whole game?" Edwards said. "I don't know that. When he falls down on this hand is that going to be a stinger? I don't know that, no one knows that. When you put Vinny in the game, he gets a feel early. Those are the things I thought about when I made the decision."
Edwards said Pennington will start Nov. 2 against the Giants.
"This is not musical chairs," Edwards said. "There is not going to be a quarterback controversy."
When Pennington got hurt, he was expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks. His return Sunday means he will be returning a bit earlier than anticipated.
Edwards said he wrestled with the decision all last week and talked with Pennington about what he wanted to do Saturday night. He said he discussed the decision with Testaverde and Pennington, and both are fine with it.
"It's the right thing to do for the football team and for Vinny and for Chad," Edwards said. "If you're going to change a quarterback, you want to make sure both parties are involved in a game because of the uncertainty about Chad."
Testaverde has played well in the last two games, helping the Jets come back from an 0-4 hole. Against the Texans in a 19-14 comeback victory Sunday, Testaverde led the game-winning 86-yard drive -- and contributed a 13-yard run.
Now at 2-4, the Jets still are hoping to make a playoff run. Last year, Pennington led the Jets to the AFC East title after replacing Testaverde following a 1-3 start.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press