INDIANAPOLIS -- I caught up with Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick by phone this morning and Fitz seemed a bit dismayed to know David Nelson had spilled the beans about him playing with cracked ribs this season.
"My only reaction would be, I don't really want to comment at all," Fitzpatrick said from his home in Arizona. "I don't think injuries had any effect on the way I played this year, at any point. I don't want to get into it. It didn't affect my performance at all."
In an interview Friday with NBC Sports, Nelson confirmed long-rumored suspicions that Fitzpatrick suffered cracked ribs in the Redskins game in Toronto on a hit by former Bills linebacker London Fletcher in the first half.
"A lot of people don't know, but Fitz, during the Washington game, actually cracked a couple of ribs," Nelson said. "So after that, he was playing hurt."
Fitzpatrick can insist his performance wasn't affected by the injury, but the numbers suggest otherwise. He completed 67 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and 7 interceptions before the injury. He had 11 TD passes and 16 picks after Fletcher drilled him. Sources say he cracked four ribs and injured his sternum.
Fitzpatrick said he had just returned from Indianapolis, where he attended some Super Bowl events. He was with Stevie Johnson at one event. He has made it clear to Johnson that he wants to see him back in Buffalo next season.
--- Jerry Sullivan