Mark Sanchez injury: Jets QB has 'realistic' chance to play in 2013, Rex Ryan says

The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan isn't ruling out Sanchez's return this season.

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan says that there's a "realistic" chance for quarterback Mark Sanchez to return to action this season, according to Kevin Manahan of USA Today. Ryan said that the team would place Sanchez on season-ending injured reserve if the Jets didn't think it "realistic that Mark would get on the field."

Sanchez has an injury to his right shoulder, which is his throwing arm. He sustained the injury in the preseason, playing behind an offensive line made up of second- and third-string players. He was locked in a battle with rookie Geno Smith for the starting job, and was out-performing said rookie before the injury.

That said, Smith may have earned the nod regardless just on the virtue of breaking the status quo. The move worked out for New York in Week 1, as Smith put the team in position to kick a last-second field goal to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but multiple interceptions on Thursday Night Football ultimately erased an otherworldly performance by the New York defense against the New England Patriots.

There's no word on what exactly is wrong with Sanchez's shoulder or what has been suggested in regards to his recovery time. The Jets are keeping quiet on that one. There's also no word on whether or not Sanchez will be a candidate to take over in the event he is healthy and Smith is struggling, though that seems like a safe bet.

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