Well, this would be one way to make the Mark Sanchez troubles in New York go away.
The Jets have announced that rookie Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback for this Sunday’s season opener against the Buccaneers, a default decision due to Sanchez injuring his shoulder in a preseason game. Sanchez won’t be back for several weeks at least, leaving Smith with the job, no matter how he performed in camp.
But Smith isn’t the only one benefitting from the fateful shoulder tweak. The injury, and Sanchez being sidelined, may finally be the push the organization needs to move on from Sanchez, who has started but not starred for the team for four years.
Sanchez has already found himself at the center of increased doubts since the injury, and now it appears that the Jets quarterback is seeing the handwriting on the wall.
USA Today reports that a source close to Sanchez says the signal caller “believes the organization wants to see him placed on [injured reserve] and be done with him.” Sanchez thinks the Jets will think “it makes it cleaner and easier that way.”
Sanchez is afraid the “organization has turned its back on Mark and is prepared to move on. It is ready to start fresh with Geno,” according to the report.
There’s no proof yet that Sanchez’s shoulder injury is bad enough that he could land on injured reserve, although it is ironic that he was hurt on a decision made by coach Rex Ryan, the one person who’s always been in Sanchez’s corner. Ryan had chosen to keep Sanchez on the field late in a preseason game when he was hurt.
But Ryan is also under heat this season, with the Jets fielding their poorest team in years. New team leadership, under the direction of new general manager John Idzik, is keeping Ryan on a short leash after last year’s lackluster performance.
The Jets have already signed Brady Quinn and Matt Simms to back up Smith. The biggest tether keeping Sanchez with the Jets, however, continues to be Sanchez’s salary. If released, the Jets still have to pay him millions, but they would at least get rid of the continual headache of figuring out Sanchez’s role with the team.