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Simms expected to start vs. Eagles

Jets quarterback Matt Simms is seen during training

Jets quarterback Matt Simms is seen during training camp. (Aug. 11, 2013) Credit: Hans Pennink

Matt Simms reportedly will start Thursday night's preseason opener vs. the Eagles and his backup will be newly-signed quarterback Graham Harrell.

Word of Harrell's imminent arrival early Wednesday morning immediately signaled something was wrong with Greg McElroy. The New York Post later reported McElroy re-injured his knee this week in practice, resulting in the team scrambling to sign a backup for Simms for Thursday night.

While grateful for the support from the Jets faithful, Simms told Newsday last week that he was simply focused on securing a roster spot. But after Saturday's performance against the Giants -- 6-for-10 for 120 yards (including a 22-yard TD pass and a 70-yard completion to set up the game-winning field goal) -- it's clear Simms isn't in danger of getting cut.

But when asked last week about his growing popularity, the former Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) star was rather mild-mannered about it all.

“There’s just no reason to get ahead of myself right now,” said Simms, who has a preseason passer rating of 137.5 (against backups, obviously). So far, he’s completed 11 of 15 for 193 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

“I know I need to continue to work and prepare and learn as much as I can about the game, about our offense. If I get opportunities, (I plan) to seize those opportunities and that’s all you can do really.

"...I think everyone understands the situation here with Mark and Geno. And that’s understandable. And at most NFL camps, it’s really just mainly the first and second-team guys that get a lot of reps and I’ve been very fortunate with Marty that he’s passed along a few reps to me and Greg as well. So in that sense, we’re pretty fortunate as far as three and fours go.” 

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