- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- And the wait continues.
Rex Ryan declined Monday to reveal his quarterback plans for Saturday night against the Giants, let alone Week 1, but it appears that rookie Geno Smith will see extended action this weekend, perhaps as the starter -- if his ankle holds up in practice.
"We're hoping he'll progress and he'll be ready to play," Ryan said.
Smith, coming off four days of rest, returned to practice and took the first-team reps -- but it was hardly a smooth day. He completed only one of six passes, including an interception. He was victimized by two Stephen Hill drops on well-thrown deep balls.
Smith said he's "extremely anxious" to play a game after sitting out Saturday night's win over the Jaguars. He said his sprained right ankle "felt a lot better. I was able to move a lot more fluidly [and] wasn't thinking about it as much. The pain has gone down tremendously, so I'm able to do a lot of things I couldn't do last week."
He's still not 100 percent, but he claimed he's well enough to play in a game. Ryan, who last week blasted Smith for a "brutal" practice, agreed that the former West Virginia star is "much further along" than last week. Ryan said Smith was driving the ball better, especially on the deep throws.
But the coach still wasn't ready to hand Smith the starting nod for this week. Chances are, he'll wait until Thursday before announcing the starter. The logical candidate is Smith, who played only 14 snaps in the first game. The Jets want to give a healthy Smith a fair shake before determining their opening-day starter. The feeling is that Smith would need to hit a home run against the Giants to steal the job from Mark Sanchez, whose preseason performance has ranged from uneven to solid.
"I don't think one game completely defines who I am, but it's important to go out there and get a good showing," Smith said.
Smith showed some moxie in practice, not allowing an interception to make him gun-shy. After getting picked off by LB DeMario Davis, he came back on the next play and fired a nice long pass to Hill. It should've been a touchdown, but Hill couldn't hold on.
"The fact that he comes right back and makes a big throw down the field tells you about his type of confidence," Ryan said. "He's not rattled."