Jets QB Sanchez back at practice, says he could play right now

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Mark Sanchez is ready to play.

And, he means, right now.

The New York Jets quarterback fully participated in practice Thursday and didn't show any ill effects from offseason knee surgery that limited him until this week.

"I'm playing," Sanchez said when asked if he'd be ready if there were a game Sunday. "I'm in. Let's go. No nothing. I'm good."

Sanchez had the patella-stabilizing ligament in his left knee repaired in February, and he participated in 11-on-11 team drills this week for the first time since the surgery. He said Thursday that the knee feels "great," and he looked mobile and unimpeded at practice.

"Now, the mental side is catching up to the physical side," Sanchez said, "and I feel a lot sharper out there, X's and O's, calling plays, feeling comfortable in the huddle and really going, so I thought we had a great day today."

Doctors told Sanchez that his rehabilitation progressed ahead of schedule and added that he should be a full participant during the team's minicamp, which starts Monday.

"It's huge," Sanchez said. "It's important to be able to get out there and feel it first, but that minicamp is important. That's as close to camp, as close to a game that we get during the summer. I think it's a big step."

Until this week, Sanchez had been limited to only individual and passing drills since workouts began several weeks ago.

"You don't even worry about him," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "That's how confident we are right now with where Mark is. That's just Sanchez out there. Let him go. ... I feel super about him."

Sanchez, not wearing a brace, rolled out several times during practice and looked sharp -- particularly on a 30-yard touchdown toss to Jerricho Cotchery over Darrelle Revis.

"He's been on point for the last couple of days," Cotchery said, adding that Sanchez looks "much more comfortable" with the offense now.

Sanchez spent much of last year learning the offense from the ground up as a rookie. This year, he used some of his down time while rehabbing during the offseason to get a firmer grasp of things.

"My comfort level is so high," Sanchez said. "I feel good and ready to go mentally for this minicamp, where last year my head was spinning just trying to remember stuff."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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