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Rex Ryan: It’s 'not my job' to keep Geno Smith out of practice

Jets quarterback Geno Smith during NFL football training

Jets quarterback Geno Smith during NFL football training camp. (Aug. 3, 2013) (Credit: Hans Pennink)

CORTLAND – Rex Ryan said he never thought to give Geno Smith’s practice status a second thought.

The rookie quarterback was back in action Sunday morning, despite a noticeable limp due to the sprained right ankle he suffered in Friday night's preseason opener.

But while Smith’s steps were significantly hampered by his injury, his arm was still on point. Save for the red-zone interception he threw into the hands of Antonio Cromartie in the back of the end zone – just his second team-drill pick of training camp – the rookie finished 7-of-10 with four touchdowns (mostly in goal-line drills) and a sack.

Mark Sanchez was 3-for-9 with a touchdown and sack.

Smith admitted after practice that his ankle still was sore and that he had “a little limp” while dropping back and rolling out. But sitting out of practice was never up for discussion apparently.

“Again, when our trainers are like, ‘Hey, look. He’s going,’ that’s it. He’s going to be out there,” Ryan said. “And that’s what happened to him today.”

Even though Ryan ultimately has the final say, he told reporters he never thought to overrule the training staff’s recommendation.

“That’s not my job. My job is to coach,” he said. “I lean on our trainers, who are excellent. So I’m going to lean on them, I’m going to lean on our medical department – with any injury. And when they say the young man’s cleared to participate, then that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

“If they say he’s not – you see some guys out there in red jerseys, or whatever, that means they’re non-contact. And that’s what you go with. But I will always lean, and always have leaned on our trainers and our doctors.”

“Again, he was cleared to practice and we’ll see,” said Ryan. “What it looks like tomorrow may be different than today. I’m not sure. But, again, I lean on the trainers. …Some guys, whether they’re in red jerseys or a white jersey, or whatever, might not feel great. But they’re able to practice. And Geno was able to practice.” 

Tags: jets , geno smith , rex ryan , mark sanchez

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