NEW YORK – Mark Sanchez has his sights set on returning to the field this season – as the New York Jets’ starting quarterback.
Well, at least in a few months.
Sanchez was placed on short-term injured reserve Saturday, meaning he will not be able to play for the next eight weeks while he recovers from an injured right shoulder.
“As far as making a decision that’s best for the team and best for my medical health, we’re all on the same page,” Sanchez said during a conference call. “I’ll come back, hopefully, in eight weeks and be ready to play.”
Sanchez injured his right shoulder after replacing rookie Geno Smith in the fourth quarter of the team’s third preseason game against the Giants. He has opted to try to rehabilitate the injury rather than have season-ending surgery.
Sanchez acknowledged surgery is a possibility, but doctors are encouraged by his rehab. Some fans and media have suggested Sanchez should have the surgery immediately, since it seems inevitable he will need to do so. But the quarterback called those opinions “laughable” since that’s not what the doctors told him.
“They’ve said, ‘Hey, you’re doing the right thing,’ ” Sanchez said. “So, unless everybody is lying and everybody has it out to get me, I think we’re OK.”
The exact nature of the injury has not been revealed by Sanchez or the team, but some published reports say it is a partially torn labrum. Sanchez has been throwing passes left-handed during practices and was doing the same Thursday before the team’s 13-10 loss to New England.
General manager John Idzik pointed out that Sanchez had a similar injury to his right shoulder in 2010, and didn’t miss any time.
That’s why the team took an initial “day-to-day” approach before making this decision.