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Geno Smith might not play in the Jets second preseason game, Rex Ryan told reporters on a conference call.

"That decision has yet to be made," Ryan said. "When we think it's the right time to make that decision, we will."

Ryan said that Smith worked on the bike on Thursday as the team broke camp, but did not practice on his sore ankle.

"You have to realize we're still in the install phase, putting in a brand new offensive system," Ryan said of having Smith practice on an injured ankle. "We thought he would benefit from getting those reps. The trainers were comfortable with him being out there. ... None of us are doctors, but he's been able to practice, so that's encouraging. But is he 100 percent? No. I don't think he's limping as bad as he was to start the week. I'm just telling you my opinion."

But the decision to start Mark Sanchez in the next preseason game wasn't just based on Smith's ankle.

"It's not necessarily based on if [Smith] could start or not start," Ryan said. "There's also the fact that Mark has practiced very well."

And, it's still no lock that Sanchez will be the starter come Week 1.

"We're not going to go into who's ahead and who's not. There's still time to make that decision," the head coach said. "But the competition is still ongoing."

This isn't all that shocking after the announcement this morning. Sanchez is healthy and has had an uneventful week in camp. Based on the circumstances, it makes sense to start Sanchez.

Had he not been injured last week, Smith was likely going to start this game. Now everything is up in the air and it makes little sense to play Smith in a game where he might sustain worse injuries since he's not healthy.

If Smith wasn't close to 100 percent, it seems odd that the Jets would have allowed him to practice this week, but Ryan explained the reasoning above: The Jets are installing some offensive elements and didn't want him to get behind and more than likely Smith wanted to practice.

However, this is being portrayed as the maniacal machinations of an evil GM. And some in the media are going from this to this in a day.

This injury has set the timetable back on the Jets making a decision at the quarterback spot, but assuming the competition is still open next week, Geno Smith will have to look sharp to win it. Either way, the team would be wise to play Geno when he's good and ready. And, if that can't happen? Then play him as soon as they can, after Mark Sanchez throws the egregious interceptions we've become accustomed to from him.

Tags: NYJets , Andrew Vazzano
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