Geno Smith is expected to have two weeks to prove himself as the New York Jets quarterback before Mark Sanchez returns from injury.
The rookie QB has been given the nod by head coach Rex Ryan for the season-opener against the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, as Sanchez looks to recover from a right shoulder injury.
Last season’s main man is still listed as ‘day-to-day’, but reports in the New York Post claim doctors don’t want him to throw too soon, with the fear being that he could injure it further and miss the rest of the season.
The same report claims a return is now likely to be week three, and the match-up against the Buffalo Bills.
That gives Smith two weeks to cement his place as the franchise quarterback, although Ryan isn’t even guaranteeing that much action.
"Our focus is strictly on this game. We're not thinking past Tampa, I can tell you that much. This whole team is not thinking past Tampa in anything. We have a big challenge in front of us. We understand that, and that's where the focus is," he said, according to the NFL.com.
Smith threw 16-for-30 in his last outing against the New York Giants in pre-season, perhaps explaining why Ryan doesn’t want to over-commit himself to the youngster.
Realistically though, Smith will be given the game time in these first two matches (Bucaneers and New England Patriots) to prove that the job should be his, with Matt Simms an unlikely replacement and Brady Quinn further down the pecking order.