EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Mark Sanchez had an X-ray on his injured right shoulder and is expected to have an MRI exam on Sunday to determine if there’s any damage.
The New York Jets quarterback, competing with rookie Geno Smith for the starting job, left the team’s preseason 24-21 overtime victory against the Giants late in the fourth quarter when he took a hard hit in the shoulder after throwing a pass. The team had no immediate word on the nature or severity of the injury.
“We had the starting offense out there for three full quarters and I put Sanchez in, and unfortunately, the best play he makes probably all of preseason, he ends up getting hurt on it,” coach Rex Ryan said. “We’ll see the severity of the injury later, but it was a tremendous play by him. But that’s football. You compete and you go out there and do your best, and obviously it’s very unfortunate that he was injured.”
Sanchez appeared in good shape for the Jets‘ starting quarterback job after a spotty performance by Smith, who got the start but threw three interceptions and stepped out of the end zone on a play for a safety.
From the sideline, it appeared Sanchez was somewhat surprised he was going in because Matt Simms was warming up as if he were next into the game. It seemed a curious move to use Sanchez, especially with the backups playing in front of him.
“That was my decision,” Ryan said. “It was the coach’s decision all the way.
“You’re talking about competing and all week you’re talking about winning the game, and competing. That was my decision.”
“I think that was kind of planned all along,” Smith said.
Sanchez rolled out under heavy pressure and completed a 23-yard pass to Mohamed Massaquoi before having his right shoulder slammed into by Marvin Austin with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter.
“I was hurt when I hit him,” Austin said. “I felt it in my chest. I played it off and tried to run off, but it was a pretty hard hit. Hopefully he’s healthy. I don’t wish anybody to be hurt.”
Austin hoped his hit was legal, saying, “If it wasn’t, it’s going to cost me a lot of money.” He also acknowledged he was a bit surprised to see Sanchez in the game at that point.
Sanchez stayed on the turf for a few moments as the team’s trainers ran out to check on him. The quarterback got up on his own and flexed his right arm and hand as he headed to the sideline.