The New York Jets are set to stick with struggling Geno Smith as their starting quarterback this Sunday.
Smith was benched at half-time in last week’s 23-3 defeat to the Miami Dolphins – a defeat the moved Rex Ryan’s side back to 5-7 and realistically on the cusp of play-off elimination.
In truth, Ryan has little option at QB as the Oakland Raiders prepare to travel to the MetLife Stadium, and he’s given his full support to the 23-year-old rookie.
"I believe in Geno. I think he has the tools to be a good quarterback in this league," he told Newsday, according to NFL.com.
Veteran backup David Garrard described the decision as ‘just kind of status quo’, although the 35-year-old will know that an opportunity might be around the corner if Smith again struggles to connect with receivers and Matt Simms fails to impress.
For Smith, his first season in the National Football League has been a baptism of fire, after being drafted in the second round by the Jets.
His initial impact was positive, as the former West Virginia college star battled with Mark Sanchez in the race for the starting job before injury put the 27-year-old out of contention for the season.
Mixing wins with losses throughout the early part of the campaign, Smith threw for over 300-yards and two touchdowns in the win over Buffalo in week three, but of late has been unable to capture his best form as the Jets have fallen to three consecutive defeats.
They sit third in the AFC East, three back from the New England Patriots, but are fighting for the final wildcard spot with the Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and San Diego Chargers.