Knowing the pain in his injured right shoulder, knowing the Jets have already clinched a playoff berth, knowing they need Pittsburgh to lose and Baltimore to win in order to improve their postseason standing, Sanchez said only, “I’m glad I’m not a head coach.”
Instead, the decision falls to the man who holds that title, , who reiterated Wednesday what he said Monday, that he had not made a decision regarding Sanchez, and that he might not until shortly before Sunday when Buffalo comes to town for the regular-season finale. Ryan labeled it unlikely that Sanchez would play the entire game, but he also did not dismiss the possibility that Sanchez would sit out.
Ryan said he told all of his players except safety James Ihedigbo to prepare as if they would play Sunday. “And as the week goes on,” Ryan continued, “we’re going to do what’s in the best interest of our team.”
Sanchez’s health, of course, remains the Jets’ primary concern. But Ryan also continued to point to his quarterback’s last two performances, both against stout defenses and Chicago, both on the road, both solid. Ryan also knows that three of Sanchez’s worst performances came after extended downtime: in the season opener against Baltimore, against Green Bay after the bye week and more than one week after the Jets played Thanksgiving night.
What Ryan called Sanchez’s “hot hand” on Wednesday, Sanchez described as rhythm and following the same routine. He compared it to a shooter in basketball who continues to fire away, who does not want a rest. He noted that extra repetitions, especially in real games, would not hurt.
“You don’t want to disrupt it,” he said. “You want to keep everything in stride.”
Sanchez also said his shoulder felt better, more healthy, than at this time last week.