FLORHAM PARK, N.J., Sept. 4 (UPI) -- New York rookie Geno Smith will start at quarterback for the Jets in the NFL regular-season opener against Tampa Bay, the team said Thursday.
Smith, who was taken by the Jets in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft, had been going against Mark Sanchez, the New York starter for the last four seasons, for the starting quarterback job. But Sanchez has an injured shoulder and the starting duties have fallen to Smith.
Smith suffered an ankle injury early in the pre-season but has since been declared healthy. He started the pre-season game against the New York Giants completing 16-of-30 passes for 199 and three interceptions. Sanchez came later in that game and was injured on a hard shot while throwing a pass.
Smith is expected to also be the starting quarterback for the Jets in their second game, which comes just four days after the Sunday opener at home. New York plays at New England Thursday Sept. 12.
Smith set records for completions (988), passing yards (11,662) and touchdown passes (98) at West Virginia, closing his regular-season career with a 23-of-24 passing day for 407 yards and three touchdowns against Kansas. The Mountaineers were 26-13 with Smith as starting quarterback.