Todd Bowles says Geno Smith still Jets' No. 2 QB

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Geno Smith is still No. 2 for the New York Jets.

After previously being vague about the situation a few days ago, coach Todd Bowles said Smith will play after starter Ryan Fitzpatrick in the preseason game against the Giants on Saturday night.

''You always prepare the same way,'' Smith said after practice Wednesday. ''It's really no different. I'm just continuing to work hard.''

There had been some uncertainty about the pecking order of the backups after Bryce Petty had a good performance and Smith struggled against Washington. On Sunday, Bowles wouldn't say for sure what the rotation of the quarterbacks would be this week.

He did say then that he was clear about the four quarterbacks on the roster, adding, ''Until we make a change, there won't be (a change). That's any position. When we make a decision at the end of camp, if it changes, it changes. And if it doesn't, it doesn't.''

Smith was asked Wednesday if Bowles had clarified his position on the depth chart.

''I don't see anything different,'' Smith said. ''I think he's already answered that question.''

Bowles acknowledged that Fitzpatrick and the starters are expected to play at least through the first half of the Jets' third preseason game. Smith will then come in, followed by Petty at some point.

It's unclear if rookie Christian Hackenberg will see any action this week. The second-round draft pick has not played in New York's first two games.

''Obviously, I want Fitz to play quite a bit and depending on how the offense goes, it's hard to get three quarterbacks in the second half,'' Bowles said. ''I'll try to if everything goes right. In a perfect world, you want it. We really do want to try to get all of them in the game.''

Smith, of course, has plenty of experience after serving as the starter his first two NFL seasons. He lost his job last summer when he was punched by a then-teammate and had his jaw broken. Fitzpatrick seized the starting gig and then went on to one of the best seasons in team history with a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes.

For a few months, it appeared Smith could have a shot at getting his job back as Fitzpatrick and the Jets engaged in a long contract stalemate. But Fitzpatrick re-signed just as training camp started, relegating Smith back to the sideline.

Through two preseason games, Smith is 14 of 27 for 126 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Playing mostly against third-stringers, Petty is 23 of 40 for 335 yards with two TDs.

While Bowles doesn't necessarily look at the third preseason game - when most starters play into the third quarter and sit out the fourth game - as a dress rehearsal for the regular season, Smith tries to treat every game as if it's the most important one he'll play in.

''You've got to look at it all the same because you don't want to have a mental letdown,'' he said. ''It's all the same for me. Every single rep counts. Every single minute you get in practice or in the game counts. You've always got to have that same mentality so that things don't change, no matter what the situation is.''

While the pecking order remains status quo at the moment, there remains some intrigue over whether the Jets will keep all four quarterbacks on their 53-man roster.

Petty, a fourth-rounder out of Baylor last year, appeared to be the likely odd man out when camp started. But, he has shown enough progress to warrant serious consideration to remain on the roster.

''You can tell he's growing overall,'' quarterbacks coach Kevin Patullo said. ''His whole picture is getting cleaner. You could tell in the spring it was getting cleaner, and then as time goes on, you could just feel it. He's understanding more, his questions are better, what he sees in the film room is better.

''And you could tell it's just translating to the field a little bit cleaner.''

NOTES: RB Matt Forte expects to play against the Giants after being sidelined most of camp with a hamstring injury. He hasn't played yet in the preseason, but said his leg is feeling healthy. Bowles said Forte should play ''if he doesn't have any setbacks.'' Bowles said he'll see how he warms up. ''I'm trying to get him playing because I want him to get hit before the first game (of the regular season),'' the coach said, ''and have that not be his first time.'' ... DE Muhammad Wilkerson (leg) could also play for the first time this preseason. ... TE Jace Amaro (groin), WR Quincy Enunwa (concussion), OLB Jordan Jenkins (calf) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (groin) were among those who sat out practice.

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