While the Jets have yet to make a decision, Mark Sanchez is ‘‘assuming’’ Geno Smith will start the team’s exhibition game against the Giants Saturday night.
Sanchez said Wednesday the quarterbacks haven’t been told who will start, but Smith has worked with the first-team offense for three straight days. Sanchez did the same last week while Smith was hobbled by a sprained ankle and played three quarters in the Jets’ victory over the Jaguars Saturday.
Both QBs had solid practices, but Smith was outstanding in team drills while completing 15 of 16 passes, including two touchdowns. Coach Rex Ryan said Smith’s performance ‘‘wasn’t brutal,’’ poking fun at the word he used when the rookie was intercepted four times last week.
‘‘That was a great day,’’ Ryan said of Smith. “I don’t know if that was his best day because he’s had a lot of good ones, but he had a great one today.’’
Smith, meanwhile, has just two quarters of preseason game action after spraining his right ankle in the opener at Detroit.
‘‘It’s getting better,’’ Smith said of his ankle. ‘‘I wouldn’t say it’s 100 percent. I just got to continue to treat it every single day.’’
Additionally, Jets receiver Santonio Holmes still has no timetable on when he might return to the field as he recovers from a serious foot injury that sidelined him most of last season.
Ryan said Holmes is in ‘‘great shape,’’ but the receiver says ‘‘looks can be deceiving.’’ Holmes hurt his foot during Week 4 last season and had two surgeries, including one in February to remove screws.
Holmes says he still feels pain in his foot every morning when he wakes up, and it’s something he is learning to tolerate. He has begun to run straight ahead at full speed, but he hasn’t begun making cuts or running routes yet.
Also on the Jets’ front, fullback Lex Hilliard, who was briefly with the Patriots last season, will miss the season because of a broken shoulder blade suffered Tuesday.
Texans defensive end Antonio Smith has been suspended by the NFL for the season opener and the last two exhibition games for hitting Miami guard Richie Incognito with the Dolphins player’s helmet. Smith ripped the helmet off Incognito’s head, then hit Incognito on the shoulder with it in last Saturday night’s game. The two also went at it in last season’s opener, when Smith kicked Incognito, drawing an $11,000 fine. Smith must sit out Houston’s visit to San Diego to begin the season Sept. 9. He also will lose about $400,000 in salary for his seventh rules violation since 2011. Houston general manager Rick Smith was unhappy with the defensive end’s actions. ‘‘That’s obviously something we can’t have in our game,’’ Rick Smith said. The GM said the player will appeal the punishment . . . Bears rookie linebacker Jonathan Bostic was fined $21,000 for a hit during last week’s preseason game against San Diego. Bostic delivered a hit to the Chargers’ Mike Willie that jarred the ball from the receiver and resulted in an incomplete pass. No penalty was called on the play. Bostic was punished for delivering a hit against a defenseless receiver while lowering his head and making forcible contact with the top or crown of his helmet. Bostic is unsure if he will appeal.
Mingo still out
Browns rookie linebacker Barkevious Mingo remains sidelined with a bruised lung, a ‘‘freakish’’ injury he believes he sustained on the opening kickoff of last week’s exhibition against the Lions. Mingo was hospitalized for two days with the injury, which he said caused him to twice spit up blood and gave him shortness of breath before he was taken out of the game. On Wednesday, Mingo said he has improved, but doctors still aren’t allowing him to practice. He does not think the injury occurred before last week’s 24-6 win over the Lions and that he never experienced those symptoms before last week. ‘‘Everything is feeling good,’’ he said. ‘‘Everyone is happy with the progress and now we’re just waiting to see what the doctors say so we can get back.’’ . . . Steelers rookie running back Le’Veon Bell is getting a second opinion on his sprained right foot and will miss Saturday night’s game against the Chiefs. Bell underwent an MRI on Tuesday after he was hurt Monday night. ESPN reported Bell suffered a strained Lisfranc injury and could miss up to six weeks.
Cowboys extend Lee
Sean Lee signed a six-year, $51 million extension with the Cowboys. Lee, one of only two active linebackers to have intercepted Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, received a $10 million signing bonus . . . Dallas rookie defensive back J.J. Wilcox returned after missing 10 days following his mother’s death . . . Texans running back Arian Foster practiced for the first time since May, when he strained his right calf. He has also struggled with a sore back . . . New Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora changed his No. 90 to No. 50 . . . The Ravens acquired running back Delone Carter from the Colts for receiver David Reed in an exchange of seldom-used players . . . Eagles left tackle Jason Peters, a five-time Pro Bowler, is expected to start and play three quarters against the Jaguars Saturday night. He missed all of 2012 with a ruptured right Achilles’ . . . The Cardinals signed former Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter to compete against Jay Feely. At 37, Feely is 10 years older than Carpenter. “Healthy competition only makes us better,’’ said coach Bruce Arians.