Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jets' Rookie QB Sanchez Suffering From Minor Knee Ailment

By Ross Everett

New York Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has been a crucial factor in the teams 2-0 start, showing a poise and head for the game very rare for NFL newcomers. Still, there wasn't much worry at the revelation that hes suffering from tendinitis in his right knee. The Jets announced Sanchez's injury on Thursday, and hes listed as probable on the official NFL injury report. Based on comments from the quarterback and team officials, the prognosis sounds more optimistic than that.

Sanchez practiced on Thursday, and though he was seen stopping to stretch and rub his right knee on a few occasions didn't seem to suffer any impairment in his mobility. He participated in the entire practice, and there didnt appear to be any sort of effort to prepare Kellen Clemens to assume the starting role. Clemens, who served as Brett Favre's backup during his time with the Jets, didn't get any additional reps with the starting offense that would have indicated a concern about Sanchez's health.

Jets head coach Rex Ryan confirmed the injury while downplaying its significance:

"It's not that big a deal. He has something. I don't know how to describe it than just to say its a little tendinitis. But, he's fine. I mean, he fully participated and moved around great, I thought."

Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was even more emphatic in his statement:

"Mark's totally fine."

Ryan then added a sarcastic note that brought laughs from the assembled media: "Make sure he's on that list. I don't mean anything by that."

Ryan was referring to the Jets receiving a fine from the NFL for not properly disclosing injuries to then-QB Brett Favre late last season. Favre was suffering from a torn biceps tendon, though the team didnt list him on the official NFL injury report. The team was fined $75,000 while GM Mike Tannenbaum and former coach Eric Mangini were each fined $25,000 each. While he wasn't with the team at the time of the incident, Ryan has expressed his displeasure with the fine.

The Jets are less optimistic about the condition of cornerback Donald Strickland, who is suffering from a sprained right ankle. Ryan didnt offer much positive indication that hed be able to see action on Sunday:

"I don't think he's going to be able to play this week. I'm not declaring him out right now, but I don't think there's any way he's playing this week."

The Jets host the Tennessee Titans at the Meadowlands this Sunday afternoon. New York has been installed as a -1 home favorite, with the total set at 37. The Jets have won five of the last nine meetings between the teams straight up, though Tennessee holds a narrow 5-4 advantage against the spread. After that, the Jets will take to the road for their next two games. Theyll play the New Orleans Saints on October 4th before heading to south Florida to take on the Miami Dolphins the following Monday night.

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