New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will likely have season-ending surgery on his injured right shoulder, ESPN reported, citing people familiar with the situation that it didn’t identify.
Sanchez, 26, will decide in the next two days whether to have surgery immediately or go through rehabilitation with the chance of playing later in the National Football League season, ESPN said. If he decides to try rehab, he still faces surgery after the season ends, the report said.
Sanchez, the Jets’ starter for the past four seasons after being taken fifth overall in the 2009 draft, sought a second opinion on the injury from surgeon James Andrews, who confirmed yesterday that the quarterback has a partially torn labrum, ESPN said.
Sanchez was injured late in the fourth quarter of an Aug. 24 preseason win against the Giants after replacing rookie Geno Smith, who was intercepted three times during the game.
Jets spokesman Bruce Speight declined to comment on the report in an e-mail.
Sanchez, who is guaranteed $8.25 million this season, spent the offseason competing with Smith for the starter’s job. Sanchez was benched twice last season, when he committed an NFL-high 26 turnovers, including 18 interceptions. He has a league-high 52 turnovers the past two seasons after helping the Jets reach the conference championship game his first two years.
Smith drove the Jets 50 yards on five plays to set up a game-winning 48-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in an 18-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. Smith, a second-round draft choice this year, completed 24 of 38 passes for 256 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his Sept. 8 NFL debut.
Smith, who will start against the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts, tonight, also added a team-high 47 yards rushing against the Buccaneers to become the first player to lead the Jets in both passing and rushing yards in the same game since Ray Lucas on Dec. 5, 1999 against the Giants.
In three preseason games, Sanchez completed 28 of 42 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was injured when coach Rex Ryan sent him on the field with 11 minutes left in the overtime win against the Giants. Five minutes later Sanchez was hit in the shoulder by Marvin Austin.