A preseason injury that could have been avoided has now landed Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez on the injured reserve list with a designation to return.
The Jets announced on Saturday morning that they’ve moved Sanchez off the active roster and that their fifth-year quarterback will not be eligible to play until Week 10 at the earliest.
It was a stunning turn of events for Sanchez, who has been listed as “day-to-day” by the organization since injuring his shoulder on Aug. 24, even though he hasn’t practiced. General manager John Idzik dismissed the idea of placing Sanchez on the IR designation last week but today backtracked from that statement Saturday.
“[We are] doing this with the primary goal of giving Mark every chance to return to practice and play this season and paying attention to where he is in the rehab process and how he can best do that,” Idzik said in a Saturday afternoon conference call. “Originally his prognosis was unpredictable. He had a history of excellent rehab. He’s a diligent worker, we all know that. He, in fact, has had a history with his right shoulder -- a very similar-type injury a few years back. He was able to rehab and not miss any time. That’s why we took the approach of day-to-day and felt that was prudent because again our primary goal was to get Mark back as soon and as safe as possible.”
Sanchez has not thrown or practiced since he was injured in the fourth quarter of the Jets’ third preseason game against the Giants at a time in the game where he was behind a makeshift offensive line. His subsequent shoulder injury on a hit by defensive lineman Marvin Austin opened the door for rookie Geno Smith to inherit the starting job.
There had been speculation there was bitterness between Sanchez and the Jets as to the handling of the situation, from placing him in the preseason game at a time where he could be hurt to the post-injury dialogue from the front office.
In a Saturday afternoon conference call, Sanchez sounded all the right chords, including his own contentment at how things have been handled.
“We’ve all talked together. We’ve all been on the same page. It has been an open line of communication. There’s been no secrets,” Sanchez said. “I’m not blindsided by the IR situation. This whole thing has been out in the open and we feel great about it.”
Sanchez will have to wait six weeks to return to the practice field and eight weeks to be eligible to play.
The line from Jets management is that they are now prepared to move Sanchez to IR as they’ve gleaned more information on the situation and his likely return date.
“This is not unusual that as you get into a rehab. Everyone’s body is different; every single injury is different,” Idzik said. “As I stated before, Mark had a similar type of injury to his throwing shoulder and he was able to come back without any missed time. If there was any chance for Mark to do that, we wanted to afford him that chance. So that’s why we listed him day-to-day. It wasn’t misdiagnosed at all. We were literally taking it day-to-day. And now after a span of three weeks and after a little bit more information and looking forward, you readjust your sights.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.