Jets to start rookie QB Geno Smith in opener

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — It’s Geno Smith’s time.

Geno Smith, a second-round pick in this year's draft, will get the start at quarterback for the Jets in their opener Sunday.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Geno Smith, a second-round pick in this year's draft, will get the start at quarterback for the Jets in their opener Sunday.

The rookie quarterback will start for the New York Jets in the season opener at home Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The team announced the decision through its Twitter feed Wednesday, finally confirming what had been expected since Mark Sanchez injured his right shoulder in a preseason game against the Giants on Aug. 24.

“We are excited about that,” coach Rex Ryan said in an interview posted on the team’s official Web site. “I’ll tell you, Geno, before he had the injury to his ankle, really looked tremendous.”

Ryan said Smith “really fits” offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast-style system that he has implemented in his first season with New York.

• Wide receiver Santonio Holmes was limited at practice and uncertain if he will play in the opener as he recovers from a foot injury that sidelined him most of last season.

PATRIOTS: Star tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t saying if he expects to play in New England’s opener Sunday at Buffalo, but he’s noticeably skinnier after cutting back on his usual workouts while recovering from forearm and back operations.

“I’m just rehabbing everything,” Gronkowski said. “I want to have my whole body strong and just have got to keep on grinding and keep on working on all aspects in order to get back.”

On Wednesday, he practiced on a limited basis.

REDSKINS: Quarterback Robert Griffin III said he has learned his lesson and will slide more to avoid hits in his second NFL season.

Griffin says he’s heard so much about the subject over the past eight months that it’s ingrained in his head.

BILLS: It turns out rookie quarterback EJ Manuel will be ready to open the season against the New England Patriots, after all.

Following weeks of attempting to address an injury-depleted quarterback position, coach Doug Marrone announced Wednesday that Manuel will start Sunday.

Manuel’s status had been in question after he had what the team called a “minor procedure” on his left knee on Aug. 18.


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