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Jets sign Harrell, Simms to start Thursday

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The New York Jets signed quarterback Graham Harrell to increase their options at a position where no sure thing has emerged in preseason.

Harrell was cut by Green Bay earlier this week after the Packers decided to go with Vince Young as their backup quarterback. The 28-year-old Harrell went unclaimed on waivers Tuesday and the Jets signed him.

Incumbent starter Mark Sanchez is recovering from a bruised shoulder suffered in the fourth quarter of last week's 24-21 preseason victory over the New York Giants and will not play in Thursday's preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rookie Geno Smith has battled Sanchez for the starting job in training camp but has struggled with turnovers and is still slowed by an ankle injury. The Jets will hold Smith out of the last preseason game mindful of what happened to Sanchez.

The Jets also have Greg McElroy and Matt Simms as backups. Simms will start Thursday against the Eagles in the last preseason tuneup.

Harrell, 28, was with the Packers for the past three seasons and backed up Aaron Rodgers. The former Texas Tech quarterback threw only four passes last season but is familiar with the West Coast schemes that Jets offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg runs.
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