Sanchez is dealing with a deep shoulder bruise and has been unable to throw since injuring it against the New York Giants in the Jets' third preseason game. Sanchez underwent an X-ray and MRI following the game, which revealed the injury was a bruise, but there is now a vacuum at the quarterback position.
Rookie Geno Smith will start in place of Sanchez and was ruled out of the final preseason game Thursday to protect him. Smith had an up-and-down preseason that saw him excel in the first week, struggle in the third and miss the second due to injury. There's no question Sanchez was the better of the two quarterbacks and had easily wrapped up the starting job.
The 2013 season will be a final chance for head coach Rex Ryan, who has been heavily criticized for his handling of the organization. Everything will now hinge on how Smith starts against the Buccaneers, and it will be curious to see what happens if he excels.