With Sanchez Injured, Gang Green Turns To Rookie Against Bucs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The worst-kept secret in football is now official: the Jets are going with rookie Geno Smith at quarterback for Sunday’s opener against Tampa Bay.

New York made the announcement Wednesday morning.

“We’re going to go with Geno Smith as our quarterback and we are excited about that,” Jets head coach Rex Ryan told the team’s website.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez injured his throwing shoulder last month after being inserted late in a preseason game against the New York Giants. He’s listed as day-to-day.

Sanchez is expected to miss the first two weeks at the very least, according to the New York Post.

“It’s unfortunate that Mark was injured, obviously, but he is working extremely hard to get back,” Ryan said. “But he’s just not ready right now. It’s similar to last week — we knew he wasn’t ready then. He’s not ready now and we’ll see what the future holds as we move forward.”

The Jets made an insurance move on Monday when they signed veteran quarterback Brady Quinn.

Ryan said “the entire team is confident” as Smith prepares to line up against Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, who was traded by the Jets this offseason.

“We are definitely confident that Geno’s out there and I think all of our guys are looking forward to see what he can do,” Ryan said. “It’s a tough test going against Revis and two Pro Bowl safeties. It’s going to be a test, but it’s one we’re excited about.”

The Jets said it will be just the second time in franchise history with a rookie quarterback starting on opening day.

“I think he really fits the system,” Ryan said of Smith, the team’s second-round pick in April’s draft. “He’s a guy who is very accurate with the football, he has good mobility in the pocket and he’s adjusting to the speed of the game.”

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