Geno Smith doesn't regret practicing despite pain, remains upbeat

Jets quarterback Geno Smith, who was not scheduled Jets quarterback Geno Smith, who was not scheduled to play, throws some passes an hour before game time. Jacksonville Jaguars at the New York Jets preseason football. (Aug. 17, 2013) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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Geno Smith wasn't about to sit out practice.

Despite being hobbled by a sprained right ankle last week, the Jets' rookie quarterback said he never considered missing practice. But as a result, he was held out of Saturday night's game against the Jaguars.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said he has no regrets about allowing the rookie to practice through the pain -- and neither does Smith.

"I wanted to be out there," he said, adding that he doesn't see himself at a disadvantage in the quarterback race with Mark Sanchez. "I wouldn't allow them to keep me out of practice. They did a good job assessing how I was throughout the days in practice. I think I got better. Some days were better than others. Some days my ankle felt better than others. Right now I'm feeling good. I'm just eager to get to next week and start things rolling."

Ryan provided no insight as to whether Smith will start Saturday's Week 3 preseason game against the Giants -- and neither could Smith. "We'll play it day-by-day," he said when asked if he expects to start for the first time this preseason. "They still have a long time to evaluate. We don't know yet but we'll see."

Smith said his sprained ankle is getting "a lot better," adding that it's "pretty close to 100 percent . . . Today was a big step in progress for me. I was able to do a lot more in treatment. So I think it's just getting better."

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Smith, who was told Friday that he would not face the Jaguars, complimented Sanchez after the Jets' 37-13 victory. He added, "Next week I'll be out there. Just got to play it day-by-day."

If the Jets' quarterback competition is as authentic as the front office would like it to appear, Smith should get the start against the Giants if he's healthy. Ryan confirmed that the quarterback competition will last at least another week. That means Sanchez and Smith should see significant playing time in a game that typically is reserved for starters.

"Any chance I get to compete, I'm going to try and take full advantage of it," Smith said. "Like I said, I've got another week of practice coming up. So I'm going to go out there with the right mentality and try to win the job."

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