A fourth-quarter injury on Saturday night to Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will cost the starter the opportunity to play in the preseason finale this Thursday against the Eagles.
The long-term ramifications of head coach Rex Ryan’s decision to play Sanchez behind a third-string offensive line are yet to be sorted out.
He is listed by the organization as “day-to-day,” but has been officially ruled out of the Eagles game.
A source close to the situation tells Metro New York that Sanchez “does not have any broken bones,” but that more tests would be needed to determine the extent of the injury. Reports yesterday morning said Sanchez, who had an X-ray after the game, was slated for an MRI the day after the game.
The source said Sanchez, “barring a miracle,” will not practice Monday.
Ryan was unapologetic after the game on his decision to put Sanchez into the game. Given that Smith performed poorly in his first preseason start, including three interceptions and a safety, it was an odd move to put his likely starter come Week 1 into the game and risk injury.
The best answer he could muster was to embrace the competition mantra espoused by new general manager John Idzik, the man who will likely decide if Ryan gets a sixth year as head coach in New York.
“Why compete period? We put him out there with guys. We’re there to win. We had our starting offense out there for three quarters because we’re trying to win the game,” Ryan said. “That was what we wanted to do. We were going to leave our guys out there. We’re trying to compete and everybody’s out there. Injuries are part of the game. Obviously, we’ll see the severity of Mark’s injury and others as well. But you can get hurt in practice, you can get hurt in different things. Obviously, it never worked out the way we wanted it to, certainly, but we’re here to compete.”
The questionable move to insert Sanchez, who started 15 games for the Jets last year and has been the team’s consensus starter since 2009, into a game where he was protected by a patchwork offensive line turned out to hurt the Jets in the long run.
After Sanchez was injured, Matt Simms took control of the offense and performed well against the Giants’ backup defense. They also have Greg McElroy on the roster, who played in two games — including one start — last year for the Jets.
Last week, McElroy wore a brace on his left leg in practice and he told Metro New York he was uncertain of his status for Saturday. He did not play against the Giants, giving the Jets little depth at the position.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.