FLORHAM PARK: When it happened, it was the play of Jets training camp.
Quarterback Geno Smith dropped back and fired a bomb down the left sidelined. Cornerback Marcus Williams jumped up for what looked to be an easy interception, but instead, rookie Devin Smith fought back for the ball, made contact with Williams and jarred it loose in the air. Before coming to the ground Smith located the ball and pulled it in.
The crowd went crazy.
Smith remained laying on the field.
Tests later confirmed the wideout suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung upon colliding with the field turf. The ‘play of camp’ would be the final Smith would make.
Since his unfortunate fall, a source close to Smith said he’s been doing well. There have been no setbacks, and his timetable for a return near the beginning of the season is still in play.
“He’s getting better, making good progress,” the source said. “He’s been able to keep his conditioning up with various types of workouts, which is good. “
Selected in the second round of this year’s draft, Smith was expected to be a near immediate contributor to New York’s offense. While Eric Decker gives the Jets receiving corps an elite route runner and Brandon Marshall a proven No. 1, the team doesn’t truly have a burner on the roster. That’s where Smith was expected to fit in.
During his senior season at Ohio State, Smith caught 33 passes for 931 yards and 12 touchdowns. He averaged 28.2 yards per catch that season, and 20.7 throughout his career.
“First of all, from an ability standpoint, he is a very athletic player with very, very good speed,” Jets GM Mike Maccagnan said at the NFL Daft. “When you really watched him on tape, I think (what) really stood out (is) that he has the physical skills to vertically stretch the field which everybody can obviously see.”
Other Jets injury notes:
For the first time since suffering his concussion last week, Owusu was on the field taking in practice. He didn’t partake, but the fact he was out there indicates he’s getting closer to a return.
Calvin Pryor was not in attendance for the Jets practice on Sunday for personal reasons. Bowles said after practice that Pryor had a death in the family and would miss several practices.
Quarterback Geno Smith was at the Jets facility for the first time since undergoing jaw surgery two days ago. He visited with team doctors, then left.