Rex Ryan says he put Mark Sanchez in because Jets were ‘trying to win the game’

The decision to put Mark Sanchez in a meaningless preseason game, after Geno Smith played poorly and it was clear that Sanchez was the Jets' best option to begin the regular season at quarterback, was a little strange.

Rex Ryan's explanation was much, much stranger.

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Sanchez was inserted in the game in the third quarter, and was under constant pressure with the backup offensive line protecting him. He got crushed by Giants defensive lineman Marvin Austin and hurt his shoulder. That was his last play. Ryan said he didn't know the extent of the damage to Sanchez's shoulder.

So why was a cold Sanchez in this preseason game with the backup line, which was a recipe for disaster? Take it away, Rex ...

Well, that explains everything.

So Ryan – who is going to need to win regular-season games to save his job – put in Sanchez to get beat up in the third quarter because he's the only person in the world who cares about the outcome of a preseason game.

Even in the circus that is the Jets, this is on a whole new level (although maybe it was just in respect to former Jets coach Herman Edwards' "You play to win the game!" rant ... hello?!?).

The Jets did win the preseason game, pulling off a 24-21 win in overtime. So Ryan will at least have that pleasant memory if his best option at quarterback is standing next to him injured when the games count.

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