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Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain New York Jets starter when Geno Smith returns

Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain the Jets starter when Geno Smith returns

Geno Smith is almost ready. It's nearing the six-week mark since New York's former No. 1 quarterback fractured his jaw in a locker room altercation with former linebacker I.K. Enemkpali. Smith has already started taking part in the individual portion of Jets practices. All that's left is medical clearance, then he can return full time. 

And once he gets that medical clearance, he'll remain what he is right now: A Jets backup

"Ryan (Fitzpatrick) will get all of the first-team reps," Jets coach Todd Bowles said via conference call Tuesday afternoon. "Ryan's our starting quarterback right now. We're doing good. We have good chemistry going and everything else. Geno understands that, and as we go, Ryan's our quarterback."

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Through the first two games of the season, Fitzpatrick, who's now in his 11th season, has played quite well for the Jets. The quarterback has completed 63.8 percent of his passes and thrown for 423 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. His quarterback rating of 94.3 is nice, being the man under center during victories over the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts is a bit nicer. 

With Fitzpatrick commanding the offense, things, at the moment, are running smoothly. Bowles knows that, and with nothing broken, the Jets first-year head coach isn't looking for a fix. 

But while Geno will be limited to simply second-team reps, the Jets coach did say he wants to get him ready just in case he has to play. The best way to do that? Get Smith back to playing football again:

"We'll get Geno ready," Bowles said. "He has to get reps in practice, he needs to read defenses all over again. It's like the start of training camp. When you haven't read the defenses, set the fronts and called out protections and everything like that it takes a minute. 

"Once (Geno) gets back in the flow I think it'll start coming back to him pretty good."


Connor Hughes is the New York Jets beat writer for The Journal Inquirer and He can be reached on Twitter (@Connor_J_Hughes), or via email (

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