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Jets’ Geno Smith practices despite sore ankle
CORTLAND, N.Y. (AP) - Geno Smith gingerly took a few steps on the practice field, his ankle clearly bothering him, when Marty Mornhinweg yelled over to him.
“Don’t limp! Don’t limp!” the New York Jets offensive coordinator implored the rookie quarterback.
Smith did all he could not to, fully participating in practice and looking mostly sharp Sunday despite a sore right ankle that shortened his NFL debut at Detroit on Friday night.
“He’s going to coach me hard, and he’s going to coach all of us hard,” Smith said. “That’s the way he is, he’s an old-school coach. He told me about Brett Favre and the way he played pretty much through every single injury.
“So I try to be the same way.”
Smith was cleared for practice by the Jets’ trainers Sunday morning after twisting the ankle on a play in the third quarter of the New York’s 26-17 loss. He was rolling out with the ball and took an odd step.
“It was one of those freak accidents,” Smith said. “Luckily, it wasn’t too significant and I was able to get up and get back to practice.”
An X-ray and MRI exam revealed what Smith called “great results,” and he was eager to get back under center.
“I don’t plan on missing any days,” he said.
After all, he’s competing with Mark Sanchez for the starting job. Plus, he wants to make sure he earns his teammates’ respect.
“Those guys, I mean, they’re hitting non-stop,” Smith said. “It’s a contact sport, very physical and a very violent game and those guys are putting their bodies on the line, so little injuries such as an ankle shouldn’t keep me out of practice. It’s important to show those guys that no matter what happens, I’m going to always come out there and give my best.”
He had a solid practice with the first-team offense and threw consecutive touchdown passes to Konrad Reuland in goal-line drills. He had two others to Jeff Cumberland in red-zone drills, but was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie.
Smith appeared a bit hobbled when he dropped back to pass on some plays, saying he was “slower” than usual, but was pretty mobile _ and accurate _ on rollouts during practice.
“I had a bit of a limp, and my ankle isn’t 100 percent, but it’s only been a day since the occurrence,” Smith said. “It’s just about continuing to get rehab and treatment, and seeing how it goes day by day.”
Smith said it was the first time in his football career that he has dealt with an ankle injury, and he even refused to call it a sprain _ although the ankle was heavily taped.
By John R. Bolton
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