Report: Mark Sanchez Suffered Sprained PCL Against Bills


December 4, 2009

Report: Mark Sanchez Suffered Sprained PCL Against Bills Since the Jets? season opening three-game winning streak, during which it seemed they could do no wrong, Rex Ryan?s team hasn?t had a single week when everything went right.

Even New York?s 19-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night — which improved Gang Green?s record to 6-6 and put the Jets back on the periphery of the AFC playoff picture — was bittersweet. That?s because rookie Mark Sanchez was forced to leave the game in the third quarter, after sustaining a knee injury on one of his trademark headfirst dives and posting his best weekly quarterback rating since Nov. 1 against Miami.

Ironically, this injury comes just days after the Jets brought in Yankees manager Joe Girardi specifically to teach Sanchez how to slide properly, in order to protect himself from oncoming defenders. Not surprisingly, Ryan was visibly irritated with his quarterback?s recklessness after the game.

?Sometimes, he?s got to understand that we?re trying to teach him to slide,? Ryan told ESPN. ?I love the kid, but he?s got to grow up and understand he represents our entire organization. We want what?s best for him.?

On the bright side, Sanchez completed seven of 15 pass attempts for 104 yards and one touchdown, and perhaps most importantly, he did not turn the ball over for the first time in four weeks. The 23-year-old?s ball-protection skills were particularly impressive, since he threw five interceptions in a 16-13 loss to Buffalo on Oct. 18 — a game that still stands as the low point of the Jets' season.

But that doesn?t overshadow the injury. According to ESPN?s Adam Schefter, Sanchez sustained a sprained PCL and will have to overcome significant pain to take the field in the coming few weeks. Considering that Kellen Clemens completed just one pass in nearly a full half of play, showed poor pocket presence and was sacked three times, the Jets may push the ?Sanchize? to lead their offense while wearing a brace on each of his knees.

Fortunately for the Jets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are next on their docket, and Raheem Morris?s pass defense has struggled throughout the year. The Bucs rank 26th in the league in pass yards allowed per attempt at 7.7, and they?ve also coughed up 24 passing touchdowns, the third-most in the NFL.

Every game is now a must-win for Rex Ryan?s .500 squad, and Mark Sanchez has to realize that his ability to perform at 100 percent is vital to the team?s success. If his play suffers and the Jets are eliminated from the playoff picture prematurely, the Sanchize could very well be responsible for sinking his franchise this season.

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