Jets QB Sanchez will practice, but his playing status is uncertain

NEW YORK -- Injured Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez will practice this week, although coach Rex Ryan is uncertain what the rookie's status will be for Sunday's home game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Ryan said Monday that he wants to see how Sanchez and his sprained right knee make it through Wednesday's practice before the coach chooses a starter.

"It may take a couple of days to figure this out," Ryan said. "You know me, I'm not a guy who's going to string it along and have no decision and not say anything about it. Clearly, if Mark is going to be playing, I want him to get the majority of the snaps, just like I would if Kellen (Clemens) is going to be playing."

Ryan hopes to split the snaps with the first-team offense between Sanchez and Clemens, who started in the Jets' 26-3 victory at Tampa Bay last Sunday.

"I have confidence," Ryan said of Sanchez. "I thought he would play last week at the beginning of the week, but I was wrong. I think we made the right decision."

There were no medical setbacks, Ryan said, and the coach feels good about Sanchez being able to play agianst the Falcons.

Sanchez didn't make the trip with the team for the game at Tampa Bay so he could rehabilitate the sprained posterior collateral ligament in his right knee 10 hours per day at the Jets' facility.

"Those three extra days of treatment I think are going to help Mark," Ryan said. "We'll see what it's like on Wednesday.

Sanchez didn't practice last week after being injured during the Jets' 19-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 3 in Toronto, and he was upset by Ryan's decision -- although he said he understood it. Ryan said he hadn't yet spoken to Sanchez but could imagine what he was like over the weekend.

"You know the way Mark is," Ryan said. "I can guarantee you that he was champing at the bit watching that game. I'm sure he's proud of his teammates, but the kind of young man he is, he wants to be out there in the worst way."

Ryan said Sanchez also spent some time Saturday at owner Woody Johnson's farm in New Jersey "probably to get away from things" with player development director Dave Szott.

"I think he just wanted to go shoot something," Ryan said with a big laugh when asked what prompted that visit. "No, I don't know. To be honest, I have no idea."

Clemens was 12-of-23 passing for 111 yards and no turnovers in place of Sanchez in his first start in nearly two years. Sanchez has thrown for more than 2,000 yards and 11 touchdowns, but he has been intercepted 17 times while starting the first 12 games.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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