The more prudent course of action, especially so early in the preseason, might have been to give Geno Smith a day or two to rest a sore ankle.
But the rookie quarterback didn’t want to take a day off, and the Jets didn’t stand in his way.
According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Smith “looked much slower in his drop-backs” and “jogged with a noticeable limp,” in his first work after spraining his right ankle against the Lions Saturday. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg repeatedly told him “don’t limp,” throughout the season, but Smith wanted to get through it.
“Those guys are constantly putting their bodies on the line,” Smith said of his teammates. “So a little injury such as an ankle shouldn’t keep me out of practice. It’s important to show those guys that no matter what happens, I’m going to always come out there and give it my best.”
That’s an admirable attitude for a quarterback to have, especially a rookie quarterback who doesn’t have background with them.
Of course, Smith’s background might have had some subliminal impact on his decision to push himself.
Yesterday’s practice just happened to coincide with reports out of West Virginia that talked about his college team’s lack of leadership last season. None of his coaches or teammates mentioned him by name, but it’s not a reach to think the quarterback is the guy most people look to for that quality.
Again, it might all be a remarkable coincidence.
But with Mark Sanchez vulnerable, and his own reputation in question, Smith was willing to risk aggravating a minor injury.
And the Jets were willing to let him.