Now Smith is upset.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the quarterback said he wasn't happy with the team's decision to send him back to the bench.
"Any competitor wouldn't be [happy] to be put in that situation where you get a chance to play, and then you are being pulled." Smith said, via the New York Post. "But it's not because you played bad. So it is, you are trying to figure out why. You have to understand things happen in this business and you got to roll with it."
In his first start of the season Sunday against the Raiders, Smith went 21-of-34 passing for 212 yards and a touchdown. He also fumbled twice in scoring position in the 24-17 loss. The performance, on balance, wasn't much different than what we've seen from Manning this season.
"I have a great deal of respect for Geno Smith in the way he reacted," interim coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He was a man. He obviously didn't agree with the decision, but he is a team player."
With Smith hitting the open market next season, how he handles the tumultuous situation will surely be of interest to the boatload of QB-needy teams, whether he gets back under center this year or not.
"I'm just going to continue to be the same guy, continue to support my teammates, continue to be prepared," Smith said. "You never know what could happen."