The Sanchise is taking a seat this week, and he’s not happy about it.
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan decided yesterday that Mark Sanchez will not play at Tampa Bay Sunday because of a sprained right knee, and Kellen Clemens will start in his place.
“It’s just a frustrating part of this game,’’ a clearly irritated Sanchez said. “I asked him if I could at least try to practice [today] and he said, ‘No way, because I know if you practice, then you’re going to play and we don’t want to run any risk of further injury.’ It’s difficult to handle.’’
Ryan said he consulted with team doctors and made the call to sit Sanchez, who’s “mad as a hornet’’ at him.
“He wants to play in the worst way and he’s going to play,’’ Ryan said. “It’s just not going to be this week. I have a lot of confidence in Kellen Clemens and I think that instead of delaying this decision, I’m just going to make it now.’’
Sanchez sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in the knee during the third quarter of the Jets’ 19-13 win over Buffalo in Toronto last Thursday. He said he’s still not sure if the injury occurred on his dive for a first down, or a previous play. He didn’t appear to be noticeably hobbled when he stepped up and down from the podium.
“I’d love to play,’’ he said. “I think if this was the Super Bowl, I would definitely be playing.’’
Sanchez had started every game this season since beating out Clemens for the job. The injury came two days after the Jets brought in Yankees manager Joe Girardi to help Sanchez learn how to slide. Sanchez frustrated Ryan on the play as he was injured by diving headfirst, with the coach calling him a “knucklehead.’’
“It’s Rex’s decision right now and I’d love to play,’’ Sanchez said when asked if he thought Ryan might have been sending a message to him by sitting him. Ryan said the decision was not punitive.
Sanchez didn’t practice yesterday and is expected to get a fitted knee brace today. He wears a brace on the left knee from a previous injury.
Sanchez isn’t the only rookie QB sitting out this week. The Lions plan to rest Matthew Stafford’s
banged-up, non-throwing shoulder for at least one game. They don’t expect to shut him down for the rest of the season. Lions coach Jim Schwartz
said Daunte Culpepper
will start at Baltimore and Stafford likely will be the No. 3 quarterback. Stafford aggravated his left shoulder Sunday at Cincinnati . . . Texans running back Steve Slaton
was placed on injured reserve because of a shoulder and neck problem that has led to numbness in his right thumb . . . Colts defensive end Robert Mathis
did not practice because of a strained quadriceps. Indianapolis’s top two left tackles, Charlie Johnson
and Tony Ugoh
, also were out. Johnson has a foot injury. Ugoh, the former starter, replaced Johnson in the lineup Sunday but has a hip injury. The Colts placed backup quarterback Jim Sorgi
on injured reserve with an injury to his throwing shoulder.
Injured Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson
is returning to Minnesota following surgery in Phoenix after breaking his left thigh bone in Sunday night’s loss at Arizona. He had been in a hospital, but he was cleared to come back. “He’s a man of few words, but he’s in good spirits by all indications,’’ coach Brad Childress
said . . . Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe
, the second-leading tackler for the Rams, was placed on injured reserve with a dislocated shoulder. He was hurt on the final play of the first half in Sunday’s loss at Chicago when he was hit by Matt Forte’s
helmet while assisting on a tackle. He has 84 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries . . . The Broncos placed standout right tackle Ryan Harris
on injured reserve with an injury to his right big toe that will require surgery and rehab lasting well into the winter.
Eagles coach Andy Reid
signed a three-year contact extension through 2013. “It was inevitable. There’s no point waiting,’’ owner Jeffrey Lurie
said. “This sends a great message to the players right in the middle of the season. I’ve always valued stability.’’ Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Reid is the winningest coach in team history, leading the Eagles to the playoffs seven times with five trips to the NFC title game and one Super Bowl appearance in 10 seasons. Since joining the team in 1999, Reid has won 115 games and compiled a .611 winning percentage, both best in Eagles history . . . In other Eagles news, tailback Brian Westbrook
returned to practice for the first time since sustaining two concussions in a three-week span. Westbrook will work with the scout team, and Reid hasn’t ruled him out for Sunday . . . The NFL has docked Cowboys left tackle Flozell Adams
$50,000 for shoving Giants defensive end Justin Tuck
in the back, a person familiar with the fine told the AP. Adams already has been fined $25,000 for incidents in three other games this season, including $12,500 stemming from Dallas’s first meeting with New York in Week 2, when Adams tripped Tuck.
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