McCown, in the midst of his best season, suffered a broken left hand in Sunday's 23-0 loss to the Denver Broncos and it's uncertain whether he'll be able to play again this season. The Jets (5-8) have three games left.
The 38-year-old McCown, who has played for eight teams over a 15-year career, had taken every offensive snap for the Jets prior to Sunday's game. He had compiled 2,880 yards passing with 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a 96.7 passer rating leading up to the game against Denver, which snapped an eight-game losing streak.
But that productivity was nowhere to be seen against a resurgent Broncos defense. McCown was sidelined briefly after suffering a hip injury in the first half, and sustained the fracture to his non-throwing hand late in the third quarter, when he was knocked to the ground by Broncos linebacker Shane Ray an instant after releasing a pass.
"When I threw, I got hit and kind of got rolled up," McCown said. "He kind of rolled over me and either a knee or a foot or something of his caught my hand and it bent funny. I knew when it happened something wasn't right."
McCown was 6 of 12 for 46 yards before being sidelined and Bryce Petty, who came on for the injured McCown on both occasions, finished 2 of 9 for 14 yards.
Jets head coach Todd Bowles said he's unsure whether McCown will be able to play again this season.
"We've got a couple more tests to run. I don't know for sure. We'll see," Bowles said.
McCown said he would do what he could to get back on the field. New York plays at New Orleans next Sunday.
"I'll do whatever I can to get ready to go and we'll see where that leaves us," McCown said. "We still have some more tests and things that we can do, but my heart is with these guys. I want to finish with these guys. If I can be out there, I'd love to be out there."
McCown fought back tears when asked at his postgame news conference about what this season meant to him, his productive play at this stage of his career and the possibility that the season could come to a premature end.
"It's been the best because of the guys, not numbers, you know?" an emotional McCown said. "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. We'll see what happens, but if I can finish I'd love to finish. We'll see what the tests say."
Bowles said that if McCown is unable to play, Petty will get the start.
Petty said he'll be ready if that proves to be the case, but noted that it was tough to see McCown go down with an injury because of what he has meant to the team.
"He pours his heart and soul into the guys," Petty said. "Whether he can go or not, you never want to see him hurt. We have to pick up the slack in the room. It is going to be a big opportunity for us, but we are going to have to replace him, and make him proud, too, just as much as anybody else."