HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Vinny Testaverde is nearly 42 years old. He has not thrown a pass in a regular-season game since January. On top of all that, he has had about a week to learn the Jets offense.

This is the player coach Herman Edwards has entrusted to help save the season.

Edwards named Testaverde his staring quarterback Wednesday, a move the desperate Jets hope can spark their floundering offense. Though Testaverde was on the verge of retirement just a few weeks ago, he is now put in the tough spot of trying to do whatever he can to get the Jets some victories.

His first start comes Sunday against Tampa Bay, the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 1987.

Niners promote No. 1 pick Smith to starting QB

SAN FRANCISCO – Just four games into Alex Smith’s career, the NFL’s first overall draft pick is now the San Francisco 49ers’ main man.

Smith was named the 49ers’ starting quarterback Tuesday, ascending to the job after four games as Tim Rattay’s backup – and just two days after his first NFL completions.

Smith will make his first start Sunday against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts at Candlestick Park. The former Utah star played in two of the 49ers’ first four games, mopping up in losses to Philadelphia and Arizona.

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