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Todd Bowles: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's ailments 'should be nothing serious'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, still hurting from a third-quarter sack last Sunday in which he was sandwiched by two defenders, sat out some plays Wednesday in practice because of injuries to his right elbow and back.

Fitzpatrick also has soreness in his surgically repaired left thumb, the team said. A torn ligament was repaired Nov. 13, but he hasn't missed any games and had been practicing fully in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, four days before the Jets face the Buffalo Bills with a chance to clinch a playoff berth, Fitzpatrick was listed as "limited" in practice.

"I didn't participate in all the plays, so they had to put me on [the injury report]," Fitzpatrick said. "It's nothing really to be concerned about."

Coach Todd Bowles also downplayed the injuries, saying he's not concerned about Fitzpatrick's availability for Sunday's game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

"It should be nothing serious," said Bowles, describing Fitzpatrick's ailments as a "sore thumb" and "body aches."

Also Wednesday, running back Bilal Powell, who has emerged as a key weapon in the passing game, missed practice with an ankle injury.

Fitzpatrick didn't miss any plays in last Sunday's 26-20 win over the New England Patriots, but he took a hard hit late in the third quarter.

As he reached back to pass, Fitzpatrick's right forearm was grabbed by pass-rusher Jabaal Sheard, putting stress on Fitzpatrick's elbow. It also caused a fumble, which was returned for a touchdown. Fitzpatrick also was drilled in the back by Chandler Jones.

Moments later, on the sideline, Fitzpatrick made a few soft tosses, perhaps testing his elbow.

The Jets (10-5), preparing for their biggest game in five years, need a healthy Fitzpatrick. He's playing the best football of his 11-year career, having thrown 13 touchdown passes and only one interception during the team's five-game winning streak.

On Sunday, the pressure on Fitzpatrick will be intense. He has never made the playoffs, and it'll be his first game in Orchard Park, New York, since the Bills released him after the 2012 season.

Fitzpatrick is 1-2 against his former teams this season. In fact, he played two of his worst games against the Bills and Houston Texans, both losses. In those games, he completed less than 50 percent of his attempts and threw four interceptions.

On Monday, Fitzpatrick acknowledged his return to the Buffalo area will have "some extra meaning." He insisted his bad game against the Bills in Week 10 had nothing to do with his history with Buffalo.

"We could go through my whole history of former teams I've played, and what happened and didn't happen," he said, laughing.

Fitzpatrick has had a bunch of those games because this is his sixth team, but he has never had a game with so much at stake.