With his offensive coordinator barking "Don't limp don't limp" a gimpy Geno Smith took the majority of the practice reps Sunday despite an ankle injury -- perhaps an indication of how much the New York Jets want him to replace Mark Sanchez.

The rookie quarterback who suffered a mild ankle sprain in the preseason opener Friday night was cleared for practice after X-rays and an MRI exam. Smith limped noticeably at times and his drop-backs were slower than usual but he was determined to practice. And he got no argument from the coaches.

"Marty [Mornhinweg] told me about Brett Favre and how he played through pretty much every single injury" said Smith referring to the Jets' coordinator a former Green Bay Packers assistant. "I try to be the same way."

Smith acknowledged that he felt "slower" admitting his ankle was sore and less than 100 percent. But the Jets wanted to maintain their practice rotation as they move toward the second preseason game Saturday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Coach Rex Ryan was non-committal about this week's starter. Sanchez started the opener with many assuming it would be Smith in the second game. After all it's a so-called open competition. But the coach offered a cryptic response when asked to explain his thought process.

"There could be some factors that change things" Ryan said. "I'm not going to get into the specifics but obviously there could be some factors that change the original thought. We'll see as we get closer."

One of those factors is Smith's health. If he labors throughout the week it could force Ryan to go again with Sanchez which probably would effectively end the competition.