NEW YORK — Geno Smith’s second chance at starting appears to be over. His playing days with the New York Jets could be, too.

An MRI on Monday revealed that the maligned quarterback has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and Smith is seeking a second opinion on an injury that would end his season. That means Ryan Fitzpatrick is back from the bench and will start Sunday for the Jets at Cleveland.

“When you hear that, that’s tough luck for the kid,” Coach Todd Bowles said.

Smith, a second-round pick in 2013 who is scheduled to be a free agent after the season, injured his knee in his first start since 2014 while taking a sack from Baltimore’s Matt Judon in the second quarter of the Jets’ 24-16 win Sunday.

It’s a stunning turn of events for Smith, who didn’t initially believe the injury was serious.

“I don’t feel like it hurts a ton,” Smith said after the game. “Honestly, I was begging to go back out there, but I understand they’re doing their jobs, so we’ll see how it goes (Monday) and move on from there.”

NFL Network first reported the severity of Smith’s injury.

It’s the latest bout with bad luck for Smith, who lost his starting job to Fitzpatrick last summer when his jaw was broken by a punch from then-teammate IK Enemkpali.

Until Sunday, Smith had appeared in just two mop-up roles since his last start in the 2014 season finale.


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