New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is expected to play during the National Football League season after he finishes rehabilitation of a shoulder injury, coach Rex Ryan said.
Sanchez, 26, the Jets’ starter for the past four seasons, was injured in the team’s third preseason game Aug. 24 when Ryan sent him onto the field with 11 minutes left in an overtime win against the Giants. Sanchez was hit in the shoulder by the Giants’ Marvin Austin.
“If we didn’t think it’d be realistic that Mark would get on the field, than he would be put on injured reserve and that’s not the case,” Ryan said yesterday during a news conference. “He’s doing a great job in rehab and our doctors and our trainers are pleased.”
Two days ago, Sanchez said he wanted to return to his position this season. Rookie Geno Smith has started the first two regular-season games for the Jets (1-1), and threw three interceptions in a 13-10 loss to New England two days ago.
“I know he’s working his tail off to get back and I think that’s where we’re at,” Ryan said. “So, I know he’s trying his best to get back on the field.”
Sanchez, the Jets’ starter for the past four seasons after being taken fifth overall in the 2009 draft, has a partially torn labrum.
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.
In three preseason games, Sanchez completed 28 of 42 passes for 266 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.