"That's something we can look at," Ryan said.
Smith continued to regress in alarming fashion Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble before being benched in the fourth quarter of an ugly 37-14 loss. Simms came on and threw one touchdown pass in garbage time for the Jets, who fell to 5-5.
Ryan -- who's been down this road before -- did his best to quell drama by announcing Smith as the starter immediately after Sunday's game. On Monday, Ryan defended Smith, citing struggles in pass protection and receivers that "weren't getting separation." Ryan said Smith didn't have his normal "feel" in the pocket after taking some early hits.
"I know how this affects him. I know the competitiveness in him," Ryan said. "He would love to get out there today, but we're fortunate because we have some time. We got to get him dialed in better and take the opportunity to get better as a team."
Smith was asked Monday if he has any concerns that time is running out to prove he's the team's answer at QB.
"I haven't seen a timer on that, so no I don't have any concerns," Smith said, via the New York Daily News.
How bad was Smith's performance against the Bills? His 10.1 passer rating was the worst for a Jets quarterback since Mark Sanchez's five-pick meltdown against the Bills during his rookie year in 2009. Smith's 0.7 QBR was the lowest for any NFL quarterback this season. It was the low point in a run of bad games by Smith, who has thrown one touchdown pass and eight interceptions since a Week 5 win in Atlanta.
We wonder how much Ryan's experience with Sanchez will play into how he handles this siutation. The argument could be made that Ryan was too loyal to Sanchez, whose spiraling play doomed consecutive Jets seasons and helped put the coach's job in jeopardy.
With a depth chart that features a long shot in Simms and a relic in David Garrard, Ryan is low on options. Still, he could be tempted to take a chance if Smith continues to fade.