Jets QB Geno Smith continues to practice on less than 100 percent ankle
X-ray’s on Smith’s injury came back negative, meaning he only suffered a minor ankle sprain. Additionally, Smith didn’t want to lag behind in the Jets’ ongoing open competition for the starting quarterback job this training camp/preseason. So, Smith suited up in pads to rejoin his teammates on the practice field, while working out on a sore ankle Sunday.
"Obviously the ankle isn't full strength right now, but I felt pretty good out there," Smith said after Sunday’s practice. "I was limping a little bit. It's just something that you've got to work past, you've got to get through."
Smith believed it was important for his teammates to see him tough out on a minor ankle injury, to prove to them that he can be relied upon in the long run.
"You can't miss a day of practice," Smith added. "I pride myself on being out there at all times and one little ankle injury wasn't going to keep me from practicing and competing with my teammates."
While Smith’s return to the field offered the Jets some hope, the player appeared a little gimpy and his drop shots were noticeably slower on Sunday, reporters present at the practice noted. Even Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg repeatedly told Smith “don’t limp” during the practice. Otherwise, Smith threw the ball well for most part of the day.
"He's that type of coach. He's going to coach me hard. He's going to coach all of us hard. That's the way he is,” Smith said of Mornhinweg. “He's an old-school coach. He told us about Brett Favre and the way he played through every single injury, so I try to be the same way."
So, the Jets’ quarterback competition rages on into the next week, with head coach Rex Ryan non-committal about who will be the starter when the team visits the Jacksonville Jaguars next Saturday.
With veteran quarterback Mark Sanchez starting the preseason opener, to complete 10 of 13 of his passes for 125 yards and a touchdown, Smith was expected to start the second game for the preseason for the Jets after he didn’t look quite as good in the previous game. Smith completed 6 of 7 passes for 47 yards but he didn't move the ball as smoothly as Sanchez, and once he turned his ankle while scrambling, there wasn’t much left to salvage or prove in the moment. However, Ryan offered a cryptic response to what might be unfolding at the Jets’ quarterback situation in the near future.
"There could be some factors that change things," Ryan said. "I'm not going to get into the specifics, but obviously there could be some factors that change the original thought. We'll see as we get closer."