FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Geno Smith could go from being benched to being inactive for the New York Jets.
The backup quarterback, sent to the sideline in favor of Michael Vick, has a shoulder injury that makes his availability uncertain for the team’s game at Kansas City on Sunday.
Smith was limited at practice Wednesday and did not throw any passes during the session.
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”Very precautionary,” said Smith, adding that his right shoulder is sore. ”I just have to take it slow.”
Smith was hurt a few plays before throwing his third interception in the first quarter against Buffalo last Sunday, but said it didn’t affect his play. He tossed interceptions on three straight possessions, making a shoulder tackle of Aaron Williams to save a touchdown on the last of them.
”I took a hit early on and kind of had a stinger,” Smith said. ”And then, that last play really hurt me.”
Smith gave way to Vick after that last interception, but it was uncertain if he could have even continued on in the game because of the injury if he hadn’t been benched.
”I would have tried,” he said. ”I always try to push through those things. I’m not sure if I would have or not.”
Both Smith and coach Rex Ryan think the quarterback should be ready to play if needed against the Chiefs, but Matt Simms – currently on the practice squad – could be elevated to the active roster if Smith can’t go.
Smith will not be the starter for the first time in his NFL career, a span of 24 regular-season games in which he has thrown 31 interceptions against 19 touchdowns and lost six fumbles. The last time he didn’t start a game was in his freshman year at West Virginia, so the backup role is not a familiar one for Smith.
”It is difficult, but at the same time I’m a professional athlete and I’ve been playing football my entire life,” Smith said. ”I’ve seen these things happen and it’s all about how you respond. I fully expect to respond well and come back from this and be stronger.”
Smith believes the organization still has faith in him to be the quarterback to lead the franchise. But he acknowledged that if Vick plays well, he could be stuck on the sideline the rest of the season.
”If he’s giving us the best chance to win games, then he should be the starter,” Smith said. ”And I’m going to fully support Mike, just the same way he did for me.”
NOTES: WR Jeremy Kerley (illness) and CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice. RG Willie Colon (knee), LG Oday Aboushi (shoulder), LB David Harris (shoulder) and LB Trevor Reilly (knee) were all limited. … Ryan on the Jets being on pace to set an NFL record for fewest turnovers – they have three so far – in a season: ”I have been a part of a lot of record-setting defenses, but I never thought I would set one in futility. Thank goodness the year isn’t over. I bet we won’t be there. I bet we won’t break that record before the year is over, but we can’t buy one.”
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