The New York Jets may have caught a huge break, with rumors that quarterback Geno Smith may be ahead of schedule in recovery for his broken jaw and could even be ready by the team’s season opener.
Smith was initially declared out for eight to 10 weeks after now-former teammate I.K. Enemkpali punched him during a locker room fight. The diagnosis would have put Smith out for as many as four weeks of the season, but a new prognosis could cut that recovery time drastically.
Dr. David Chao noted that Smith’s surgery entailed plates and screws, meaning his recovery could be much faster than if he had his jaw wired shut.
— David J. Chao, MD (@ProFootballDoc) August 14, 2015
If the rumor is true, the New York Jets could be saved a lot of trouble. Though Geno Smith struggled at times during his first two years, the team hopes he can continue to show improvement and were looking to him as the starter this season.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is set to step up in Smith’s absence, and while some believe the Jets will be better off with the journeyman Fitzpatrick, he is not viewed as a long-term solution.
A faster recovery could also save the Jets the trouble of finding a new quarterback to back up Fitzpatrick. The current No. 2 is rookie Bryce Petty, but reports from camp indicate that he may not be ready to play just yet. The Jets were rumored to be looking for some veteran help.
Reports this week claimed the Jets were speaking with Rex Grossman, though he is still recovering from an injury he suffered while training. The Jets could also turn to Tyler Thigpen, who played in Buffalo under Jets offensive coordinator Chan Gailey.
One player who won’t be coming is former Jets quarterback Michael Vick. NFL.com reported that the Jets and Vick decided against the reunion.
“While this might seem like a mistake on the Jets‘ part, given that Vick might be by far the best quarterback on the open market right now, it seems like the club is going for scheme knowledge over ability.”
If the recovery rumors are true, Geno Smith could be back in the lineup when the New York Jets open September 13 against the Cleveland Browns.
[Image via Getty Images]