Geno Smith won’t play on Saturday night

AP

The ankle injury suffered by quarterback Geno Smith in the Jets’ preseason opener opened the door for Mark Sanchez to start against the Jaguars on Saturday night and it has closed the door on Smith playing at all.

The Jets announced that Smith will not play at all in the team’s second preseason game, leaving a big opportunity for Sanchez to convince the coaching staff that he should remain the team’s starting quarterback for a fifth season. It’s not a particularly surprising decision by the Jets since there wasn’t much point in playing Smith if they weren’t prepared to let him start the game and keep things at least superficially even with Sanchez.

Coach Rex Ryan said this week when announcing that Sanchez would start that the “competition is not complete,” but it could move closer to that point if Sanchez performs well against Jacksonville. He played better than Smith in the opener against the Lions, even with one of his trademark interceptions that Ziggy Ansah returned for a touchdown, and reports from practice this week had him playing better than Smith.

Smith’s ankle injury surely contributed to his poor play in practice and it will be interesting to see if the Jets give him a chance to make up for lost time against the Giants in a third preseason game that’s usually a dress rehearsal for Week One.