"The main factors being Geno's situation, his ankle situation," coach Rex Ryan said during a conference call. "And also the fact that Mark has practiced well. That's really what kind of led to our decision."
The call came a day after Ryan said Smith had a "brutal" practice in what was his "worst day" of training camp as he threw four interceptions, including three in 11-on-11 team drills. And Ryan didn't back off that blunt assessment Thursday.
"I just said the truth," Ryan said. "Look, every player has those days. That's the reality of it. Now, has he had some phenomenal days? Absolutely, he has. But it was just a poor practice. … It was a poor day. It was a brutal day. Four or five interceptions, I don't know what else you'd call it."
Ryan was still uncertain if Smith would play at all Saturday night.
HGH negotiations hit a snag
A person who works for the NFL says while several issues have been resolved regarding HGH testing for players this season, the league and union can't agree on whether the commissioner will hear appeals for violations other than a positive test.
The person said in an email to The Associated Press that "the final hurdle appears to be" the union's desire to have someone other than Roger Goodell rule on appeals that involve violations of the law or "demonstrated use" of a performance-enhancing substance without a positive test.
Around the league
Patriots • Tom Brady was back at practice one day after hurting his knee in a joint practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It isn't known if he'll play Friday night when the teams meet in an exhibition game.
Jaguars • Coach Gus Bradley named Blaine Gabbert the starter for Saturday's game vs. the Jets. Gabbert played the first four series in the team's exhibition opener against Miami, completing 5 of 10 passes for 19 yards.
Lions • Star wide receiver Calvin Johnson will not play in Detroit's exhibition game against the Cleveland Browns because of a bruised knee.
Cowboys • Dallas is dealing with yet another setback at guard after Ron Leary was sent home for more examinations on a right knee that probably needs surgery.
Cleveland 24, Detroit 6
Baltimore 27, Atlanta 23
Philadelphia 14, Carolina 9
Chicago 33, San Diego 28
Minnesota at Buffalo, 5 p.m.
Oakland at New Orleans, 6 p.m.
San Francisco at Kansas City, 6 p.m.
Tampa Bay at New England, 6 p.m., Ch. 13
Dallas at Arizona, 2:30 p.m.
Tennessee at Cincinnati, 5 p.m.
Jacksonville at N.Y. Jets, 5:30 p.m.
Green Bay at St. Louis, 6 p.m.
Miami at Houston, 6 p.m.
Denver at Seattle, 8 p.m.
Indianapolis at N.Y. Giants, 5 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Washington, 6 p.m.