DETROIT -- Geno Smith saw extended action in his first preseason game as an NFL quarterback. Jets coach Rex Ryan may be wishing, though, that he had shortened Smith's night up a little.
Smith relieved starter Mark Sanchez after Sanchez picked apart Detroit's defense on a TD drive late in the first quarter. Smith then played the entire second quarter and returned to the field after halftime. But his night ended there, as Smith turned his right ankle while scrambling away from Detroit's Devin Taylor.
"It's a little sore, just rolled it," said Smith after, before comparing the injury to when a basketball player lands a jump wrong. "It's gonna get better. I expect ... to play our next game."
After flopping to the Ford Field turf, Smith hobbled to the Jets' sideline and took a seat on the bench while trainers attended to him. After a few moments, he walked gingerly into the locker room. He appeared to have only a slight limp after the game.
His teammate, Santonio Holmes, who did not make the trip with the Jets to Detroit, blamed the Ford Field playing surface for Smith's injury:
#NFLPA #NFL "WE NEED GRASS FIELDS" NO MORE FIELD TURF
— Santonio Holmes (@ToneTime10) August 10, 2013
While it does not appear that Smith was seriously hurt, any small setback right now could tip the scales definitively in Sanchez's favor for the Jets' starting job. New York's next preseason game is Aug. 17, against Jacksonville. If Ryan sticks to his plan of alternating Sanchez and Smith as the No. 1 QB during camp, Smith would be in line to start that game, in front of the Jets' home fans. "I was in disbelief -- first game, you don't want injuries," Smith said. "I'm hoping it's not significant."