Mark Sanchez told NFL Media's Rich Eisen on Thursday there was "no doubt" he won the New York Jets' starting quarterback job before he tore the labrum in his right shoulder.
"I never said he won the competition," Ryan said in a Friday conference call with reporters.
"That's his opinion," Ryan continued. "It's not about a company line. Apparently, if that's what he said then that's his opinion. Again there is that ongoing competition."
Ryan didn't take issue with Sanchez saying he won the gig, because the coach likes players having confidence in their abilities.
Sanchez also told Eisen he was confident he'd play this year. On that count, Ryan agreed that it was realistic we'd see the beleaguered quarterback in 2013.
"If we didn't think it'd be realistic that Mark would get on the field, then he would be put on IR, and that's not the case," Ryan said.
After premature reports surfaced this week indicating Sanchez would undergo surgery and be out the remainder of the season, it appears the quarterback will avoid going under the knife at this time.
As we saw in the Jets' 13-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Thursday, rookie quarterback Geno Smith continues to go through growing pains, and his uneven play kept the door cracked if Sanchez returns.
UPDATE: Sanchez was placed on injured reserve - designated for return, the Jets announced on Saturday. Sanchez will be eligible to play Week 11 against the Buffalo Bills.