Playing behind the Jets' third-string offensive line in the third preseason game, Mark Sanchez took a big shot from New York Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin and crumpled to the ground in pain. After trying to throw some passes on the sideline, Sanchez made it clear to Jets trainers that he couldn't continue. Sanchez had his right (throwing) shoulder iced after the injury, then trotted off the field.
And of inserting Sanchez into a meaningless game midway through the fourth quarter? "It was my decision all the way," Ryan said.
Austin, the third-string Giant who delivered the knockout blow, told ESPNNewYork.com he was surprised by the decision to put Sanchez in the game.
"Yeah, I mean, they got a huge investment in him. So I was a little surprised," Austin said. "I just knew that I gotta go out there and hit him. I gotta go out there and perform, and show 'em that I can play in this league. Who better to do it against than the Jets' quarterback?"
The Jets turned to Sanchez after rookie quarterback Geno Smith threw three interceptions. Smith's night ended on an embarrassing safety when he ran out of the back of the end zone by mistake, and Matt Simms finished out the Jets' 24-21 overtime win after Sanchez departed.
It looked for most of Saturday night that Sanchez would win the Jets' starting job by default. If Sanchez can't get healthy quick, it'll be Smith's job. By default. This is a competition that will end with no winners.