New York Jets: Will Geno Smith be the same after injury?


We’re halfway through the preseason for the New York Jets and the underlying storyline remains, when will Geno Smith be back? Reports have remained steady at the original 6-10 week time frame. General manager Mike Maccagnan gave his best estimate saying the team expects Smith to be out of action for the first 4 games of the season. But perhaps an even more important question is will he be the same after the broken jaw injury?

Well, hopefully he’s not the same immature, mistake-prone, inconsistent quarterback that he’s been so far in his career with the Jets. But in terms of the actual injury, a broken jaw, shouldn’t hinder his progress outside of the fact he’s missing invaluable time with the offense. That is what is going to hurt Smith more so than anything else and according to the front office, it could be the final blow to his final chance with the Jets.

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There is an obvious divide among Jets fans in terms of the curious case of Smith. Some fans see the potential that Smith shows on an inconsistent basis and are under the impression that he can eventually replicate that performance on a more consistent basis.

I am one of those believers that thinks Smith can eventually be that guy, but he may never get that opportunity. Which we’ll discuss in a moment here, but back to the other side of Jets fans. These are the ones who are led to believe that Smith is everything we’ve said he is and don’t believe he’ll ever turn the corner.

Those fans probably were in tears of joy after the IK Enemkpali incident that sidelined Smith for this period of time. But because of that incident, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be at the helm of the Jets’ offense apparently at the very least for the first quarter of the season. Which puts Jets fans in a precarious position, well, the half of the fan-base that supports the long term future of Smith that is.

The front office and coaching staff have revealed that Smith could do everything right over the next several weeks and that doesn’t guarantee anything. In an article by Dan Hanzus from was a quote from Todd Bowles during one of his press conferences a couple weeks ago.

“That’s a conversation we have to have when he comes back,” Bowles told reporters on Smith’s future as starter. “If anybody’s playing great, you lose your spot by injury, you lose your spot by a bunch of things, so if he’s playing great and the ship is going the right way, you don’t make a move. But we’ll see as we go.

“If the other guy’s playing well, and the boat’s going right, and there are no waves, and everything’s going, and we’re 4, 5, 6, 7-0? Yeah, you’re not coming back to start.”

Aug 21, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles watches game against the Atlanta Falcons during first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

So Smith supporters like myself, would eventually like to see Smith get his opportunity this season to show the Jets whether he can be the guy or not. But knowing that the only way Smith will get a chance is if the Jets are playing sub-par football, which obviously I don’t want.

I want the Jets to have the best possible season they can if that means riding out Fitzpatrick through the course of the season then so be it. But obviously Fitzpatrick is not the long term answer at quarterback. Which means Smith more than likely would be on his way out next season. But then the Jets for the umpteenth year in a row will be in the quarterback hunt yet again next year, to the dread of Jets fans across the planet.

So long story short, we’ll see how fast Smith recovers from his injury and if that schedule remains missing the first four weeks of the season. So Jets fans what do you think? For the Jets, do you look at the record when defining whether to make a quarterback change?

4-0 obviously you’d leave Fitzpatrick in, 3-1 more than likely leaving Fitzpatrick in, 2-2 doubt starts to creep in whether to make a quarterback change and you get the point. Or perhaps a different scenario, the Jets’ defense and running game is carrying the team to that 3-1 record and maybe a quarterback change is plausible. Regardless, the Jets are fortunate that they made that trade a few months ago to bring Fitzpatrick into the fold and he’ll be the starting quarterback for the Jets for the foreseeable future for better or for worse.

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