FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Geno Smith has tried to keep a low profile this week, but the injury to his throwing shoulder has improved enough that he'll be the New York Jets' backup quarterback against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
"I'll be ready, suited up," Smith said Friday. "I'll be ready."
Michael Vick will start for the Jets for the second straight week, while Smith will be a healthy backup for the first time in his professional career -- and probably going back to his freshman year at West Virginia, he thinks.
Matt Simms served as the Jets' backup quarterback last week because of Smith's injury.
Smith has thrown for seven touchdowns and 10 interceptions -- three of which came in the first 10 minutes of a loss to Buffalo on Oct. 26. He has 19 touchdown passes in his two years with the Jets but 31 interceptions.
On Wednesday, Smith addressed the criticism of general manager John Idzik after a "Fire Idzik" plane flew over the practice field.
"You can't really put blame on any one person or any one player," Smith said. "It's a collective effort."
Jets coach Rex Ryan said Simms would remain on the active roster for now, although he will be inactive for the Steelers game. Simms played 11 snaps last week when Vick's head collided with the turf and he went through the concussion protocol in the locker room.
That's the kind of year it has been for the 1-8 Jets. This week, Ryan cracked jokes about whether or not he'd be fired while praising former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and former defensive coordinators Mike Pettine and Bob Sutton for their success on other teams.
"A lot of guys have it going really good," Ryan said, "but me."
And Smith. The second-year quarterback has gone from the future of the franchise to a question mark during a bad season.
"No one's more frustrated than I am or the guys in this locker room," Smith said