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Sorting out the muddled QB situation

8/28/2013

As we speak, the Jets have five quarterbacks on the roster. Let's sort it out for you:

1. The Jets knew at the start of the week that Geno Smith wouldn't play Thursday night against the Eagles. Because of Mark Sanchez's injured shoulder, they didn't want to put Smith in harm's way, knowing he could be the opening-day starter. The plan was to play Matt Simms and Greg McElroy, but McElroy aggravated a knee injury, prompting them to sign former Packers backup Graham Harrell. It'll be Simms and Harrell against Philly.

2. The decision to sit Smith confirms what we reported Sunday: Even though the Jets are calling it a day-to-day injury, there's no guarantee Sanchez will be ready for Week 1. Some people close to the organization believe it'll be Smith against the Bucs on Sept. 8. If it is Smith, they'd have to know by next Wednesday, the first day of heavy game prep. As a rookie, he'd need as many practice reps as possible.

3. Rex Ryan hasn't declared a winner of the quarterback competition because he doesn't want to be boxed into his decision by anointing Sanchez, the presumptive starter. What if Smith -- as the No. 2 -- starts the opener and plays well? Would Ryan go back to Sanchez when he's healthy? Imagine the fallout if that scenario unfolded. Ryan may simply choose to leave it as an open-ended competition through Week 1.

4. These shenanigans show just how badly the organization wants to replace Sanchez. We may think it's a clear-cut choice, but the "committee" -- as Smith referred to the decision-makers -- is just waiting for Smith to do something to validate a promotion. In the meantime, Sanchez has to be chafed by the no-vote of confidence.