The New York Jets will enter the regular season without presumed starter Geno Smith after he was sidelined for six to 10 weeks after being punched by former teammate IK Enemkpali.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will step in during Smith's absence, but what happens when Smith returns? According to head coach Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan, it will likely be Smith's team once again.
"No, I still feel the same way about him," Bowles said of Smith to Mike Francesa on WFAN radio via NJ.com. "We've just got to get him healthy and get him some reps, and we're going to pick up where we left off. Hopefully, he doesn't lose too much mentally, but you've got to be out there to throw, so we he gets back, we've got get him as many chances as we can."
By Bowles saying they would pick up where they left off, it would lead one to believe Smith would take back his starting quarterback job. Of course, if Fitzpatrick is lighting the world on fire and playing well, that could change. For the time being, however, the front office and coaching staff remain optimistic with regards to Smith at quarterback.
Maccagnan was asked if he views Smith any differently, to which he said, "No, I think, quite frankly, it's like everything else. You have adversity as a team, you have adversity as players, and we'll see how Geno works through this.
"But, no. Geno, in our minds, he was having a very good offseason. He did some good things, he showed some good progress, he was having a good start to training camp."
Smith's timetable to return has yet to be determined, as Bowles said he would be out "at least" six to 10 weeks. A broken jaw isn't the easiest injury to recover from, especially when it comes to taking that first hit in a game.
The Jets will likely see how Fitzpatrick performs early in the season before they make the decision of what to do with Smith. Regardless of how well Fitzpatrick plays, it should be an interesting situation once Smith returns.