The New York Jets announced Saturday that Mark Sanchez was placed on the injured reserve-designated for return list after the quarterback injured his right shoulder in the team's third preseason game.
The decision quiets the questions about Sanchez's return for at least the next eight games. He would be eligible to start practicing in six weeks. The earliest Sanchez would be eligible to play is Week 11 at the Buffalo Bills.
"That six week period really marries up with what we're hearing from the latest medical information," Jets general manager John Idzik said on a conference call Saturday.
Premature reports surfaced earlier in the week indicating Sanchez would undergo surgery on his shoulder and miss the remainder of the season. While Sanchez could avoid surgery, placing him on the IR-recall list is an admission he wasn't ready to see the field in the short term.
Sanchez told NFL Media's Rich Eisen on Thursday there was "no doubt" he won the Jets' starting quarterback job before the injury. Coach Rex Ryan refuted that declaration Friday saying it would continue to be an "ongoing competition" between Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith.
On the conference call, Sanchez said he is "expecting to be the starter" when he returns to the active roster.
Saturday's decision means that competition will be on hold for at least the next six weeks. Smith has that time to put a stranglehold on the job, something he hasn't done in the first two weeks.