New York Jets general manager John Idzik isn't using Mark Sanchez's placement on the short-term injured reserve list as a chance to declare rookie Geno Smith the team's permanent starting quarterback.
"I think everyone is getting a taste that we don't look too far into the future," said Idzik in a conference call with reporters. "Geno will be our quarterback for Buffalo (Week 3). We don't look beyond that."
Sanchez, who injured his right shoulder in the Jets' third preseason game, is eligible to return to practice after six weeks and would be eligible to play when the Jets visit the Buffalo Bills in Week 11.
Idzik said the team isn't looking toward 2014 and said six weeks "marries up" with Sanchez's rehab timetable.
"We're looking squarely at 2013 and unequivocally Mark is a very important part of this team," Idzik said noting that Sanchez will be in all the QB meetings during his rehab.
"We'll cross that bridge when we get there," Sanchez told reporters Saturday of regaining the starting job. "I'm expecting to be the starter. I always have."
Smith struggled in his first two starts, most notably in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's 13-10 loss to the New England Patriots. Idzik's reluctance to name Smith, his handpicked draft selection, the starting QB for the rest of the season exemplifies the deliberate nature the first-year GM has employed since taking over the Jets.
It also speaks to the growing pains Smith still is struggling through. He will have eight weeks without threat of the veteran pushing him for playing time to force the staff to keep him as the starting quarterback. If Smith fails to put his stamp on the position, we could see Sanchez under center once again for Gang Green.