Rookie play-caller will get first shot at locking down the first-string role.
Rookie Geno Smith gets the starting nod at quarterback for the New York Jets’ NFL season opener on Sunday.
Smith had been battling incumbent Mark Sanchez for the starting spot in the pre-season, and his early opportunity against Tampa Bay comes with Sanchez hindered by a shoulder injury.
The New York Post reported that Sanchez might be out until the third week of the season.
“We’re going to go with Geno Smith and we are excited about that,” Ryan said in an interview posted on the Jets website.
Sanchez hurt his shoulder during the third pre-season contest against the New York Giants, taking a hard shot after throwing a pass while playing with inexperienced reserves in the fourth quarter.
“It’s unfortunate Mark was injured, but he’s working extremely hard to get back,” Ryan said. “He’s just not ready right now.”
After their opener against the Buccaneers, the Jets have a short turnaround when they face the New England Patriots the following Thursday.