Jets QB Chad Pennington Tears Rotator Cuff, Out for Season

New York Jets quarterback Chad Pennington has torn his rotator cuff for a second straight year and is likely out for the season, ESPN reports. – NFL – Season over? Pennington tears rotator cuff (ESPN)

New York Jets team physician Dr. Elliott Pellman has apprised Chad Pennington that he suffered a torn right rotator cuff in Sunday afternoon’s loss at Jacksonville, ESPN and have confirmed.

It is a chilling diagnosis that, if correct, will end this season for the starting quarterback and perhaps place his football career in jeopardy. The diagnosis by Pellman, confirmed on Monday night by a team official who requested anonymity and also by a source close to Pennington, came after the physician’s analysis of an MRI examination conducted earlier in the day. A team official conceded earlier in the evening there was “some suspicion” Pennington may have severely damaged his right shoulder for the second time in less than a year.

The team will withhold any determination about the extent of the injury, however, until Pennington is examined later this week by Dr. James Andrews, the noted Birmingham, Ala.-based orthopedic specialist who performed surgery on the quarterback’s shoulder this spring. That exam could occur as early as Tuesday.

Sources close to Pennington said Monday night that Andrews has told the sixth-year pro to retain some hope, since Andrews has seen rotator injuries that were misdiagnosed in the past. Clearly, though, the situation is a dicey one for Pennington and the Jets. Even the source close to Pennington allowed things “don’t sound good.”

A shame. Pennington’s career got off to a promising start but he has been plagued with major injuries. And things are even worse for his team:

The Jets were already preparing for third-string QB Brooks Bollinger to lead the team Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

Pennington, who had offseason surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in the shoulder, was sacked on consecutive plays during the Jets’ first series of the second half against Jacksonville. On third-and-11, Pennington was taken down by Bobby McCray and the quarterback fumbled for the second straight down and recovered the ball, but his shoulder was injured on the play.

His backup Jay Fiedler came in, but was hit while completing a 16-yard pass to Justin McCareins — his sixth play in place of Pennington — with 13:09 left in the fourth quarter. A downcast Fiedler indicated after the game that he was fearing the worst.
“I kind of landed with my arm above my shoulder and I felt something go,” he said Sunday. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to throw a football.” Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger told The New York Times that Fiedler will definitely be out for Sunday’s game against the Ravens.

Pennington came back to lead the Jets on two scoring drives, both capped by field goals, but clearly was hurting and said after the game that the injury felt “similar to last year.” Even so, Edwards said he and Pennington made the right call by letting Pennington back in against the Jaguars instead of going with Bollinger — though the play calling was limited by Pennington not being able to throw long. “He gave us the best chance to do what we needed to do to win the game,” Edwards said. “I had reservations, but he was able to go in and do some things.”

The Jets are bringing in three quarterbacks — Doug Johnson, Jesse Palmer and Jonathan Quinn — for a tryout, ESPN’s John Clayton has learned. Another player who might be considered is former Dallas starter Quincy Carter, who played for the Jets in 2004 and started three games.

So, not only is the star QB out but his decent backup is out, too. If Jesse Palmer or, heaven forbid, Quincy Carter are your best options, the future is not looking good.

Update: The Jets are apparently going with a different Dallas Cowboys reject:

Blast from past: Jets turn to Testaverde at QB

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. stranger says:

    I heard a rumor that they’re going to put in a call to Testaverde.

    When does Knicks camp start?

  2. QC? That’s just sad, Larry.

  3. Josh Cohen says:

    For all people say about Carter, he did lead the Cowboys to the playoffs a couple of years ago, didn’t he?

    I’d rather have Carter, for all his negative points, than Quinn or even Jesse Palmer.

    The Jets can have AJ Feeley… we Dolfans certainly don’t need him around…