Tthe Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles named Brandon Weeden and Michael Vick their starting quarterbacks on Tuesday and the Jacksonville Jaguars followed suit when they gave the nod to Blaine Gabbert on Wednesday. With quarterback competitions wrapping up around the league, though, the New York Jets are heading into their third preseason game with that question still unresolved.
Rex Ryan is refusing to decide between Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith until Sunday at the earliest, and even remains noncommital on who will start Saturday's preseason game against the New York Giants, according to ESPN's Rich Cimini.
"I don't think it sets us back," Ryan said. "We'll let the other teams choose to name their starters whenever. For us, we're not comfortable making that decision right now. We want to have a thorough evaluation of our quarterbacks before we make that decision."
Sources have confirmed to ESPN, however, that it will be the rookie Smith taking the field first against the Giants unless there's a setback with his sore ankle.
That ankle injury is the primary reason the decision is dragging out so long. Smith was forced to miss last week's preseason game because of it, cutting out valuable evaluation time for the Jets coaching staff. Smith has played only 14 snaps this preseason, compared to Sanchez's 75, and coaches are looking to see more from the first-round pick before making a decision.
Smith went 6-of-7 for 47 yards before leaving the Jets' preseason-opening loss to the Detroit Lions with an injured ankle. Sanchez has gone 23-of-36 for 294 yards and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions each in two games.