Jets go with Geno Smith to start opener

Updated: September 5, 2013

Florham Park, NJ (Sports Network) – Rookie Geno Smith will be the starting
quarterback for the New York Jets in their opener on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

The Jets’ website quoted coach Rex Ryan as saying Smith will be under center
against the Buccaneers.

“We’re going to go with Geno Smith and we are excited about that,” Ryan said
in an interview posted on the team’s website.

Smith had been battling incumbent Mark Sanchez for the starting role during
the preseason and the West Virginia product may have won the job by default
thanks to Sanchez’s injured shoulder.

A report in the New York Post on Wednesday said Sanchez might not be available
for the Jets until Week 3.

“It’s unfortunate Mark was injured, but he’s working extremely hard to get
back,’ said Ryan about Sanchez. “He’s just not ready right now.”

Sanchez hurt his shoulder during the third preseason game against the Giants,
taking a hard shot after throwing a pass while playing with reserves in the
fourth quarter. Smith had started that game and was unimpressive with three

Smith battled an injury of his own early in the preseason with an ankle issue
that kept him out of the second preseason game. He completed 6-of-7 passes for
47 yards in first game, then was 16-of-30 for 199 with a touchdown and the
three interceptions against the Giants.

“Before he had the injury to his ankle, he looked tremendous,” said Ryan
about Smith’s progress. “He’s back to driving the football. Right now, he’s
back to where he was before the injury.”

With Sanchez’s injury, Smith, barring an injury of his own, will likely get
the starting nod in Week 2 as well. Following the opener against Tampa Bay,
the Jets have a quick turnaround with a Thursday night contest against New