Turns out, he didn’t miss any time at all. Smith took the field with the rest of the Jets for Sunday’s practice, their first since Smith suffered the injury, and Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that he got the first crack at leading the first team.
Smith’s performance before the injury was mistake-free, but it also lacked any big plays as the Jets kept things simple during Smith’s stint against the Lions’ second-team defense. Mark Sanchez, on the other hand, made a brutal mistake on his first drive before looking much better while leading the team to a touchdown later in the first quarter.
Smith’s ability to remain on the field is crucial to his chances of winding up on top of the depth chart. Any extended absence would almost certainly hand the job to Sanchez as Smith would have limited time to convince the coaches he’s ready for the job right off the bat. With Smith back on the field Sunday, he should have a good shot at getting the start against the Jaguars in the team’s second preseason game and making a case that he should keep getting starts.