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Jets' Sanchez unlikely to play Week 1

The SportsXchange

Quarterback Mark Sanchez has a deep right shoulder bruise and is unlikely to be available or the New York Jets' regular-season opener Sept. 8.

Rookie Geno Smith, a second-round pick, completed 22 of 37 passes with one touchdown and three interceptions in preseason play and would likely start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if Sanchez cannot play.

Sanchez hasn't thrown a football since being injured during mop-up time in the Jets' third preseason game, and the organization is concerned he could be out beyond the opener.

"On Wednesday, that's when the injury report, the official injury report, will come out and I think we'll just wait and we'll make all announcements then," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said. "We'll know who's on the roster and all that kind of stuff and so obviously that'll be an accurate report on Wednesday."

If Sanchez isn't ready for Week 1, a scaled-down offense would be expected with Smith behind center. Smith, who has been recovering from a sprained ankle, did not play in the Jets' preseason finale Thursday night.

"He started out like gangbusters and then obviously had the ankle injury, so that set him back," Ryan said of Smith. "(He) got the (third preseason) game in against the Giants. Obviously, it was a very up and down performance. He's had a good week of practice and we'll see where he is from there and we'll see where all our team is as we get closer to kicking this thing off for real against Tampa."

Ryan declined to speculate whether Sanchez would have been named the starter had he not been injured, and doesn't have a timetable for announcing the Jets' starting quarterback moving forward.

"When we feel good about it, we'll make that decision and we'll see," said Ryan. "But certainly, we haven't put a timetable on it as far as naming a starting quarterback, but when we feel good about the decision as an organization, then we'll make that decision."

Ryan was also pleased the the play of Chris Simms in Thursday's preseason finale.

"This young man has really improved, now. Oh my goodness," said Ryan. "He always had that big arm and everything else. He clearly has the arm talent to play in the league, but quite honestly I don't know if I've ever seen somebody make the improvements he's made.

"He's been resilient. He stayed in there and has really done a great job of learning the system. He's been absolutely outstanding in these preseason games so you certainly have to tip your hat to him."

Ryan stopped short of saying Simms has played himself into the starting quarterback competition, but deemed his preseason performance as "tremendous."

"He did a tremendous job for us in there and it's really elevated his stock, I would think," said Ryan.
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