Within the span of one week, Mark Sanchez has injured his knee in a game twice. While diving forward to get a first down against the Bills, Sanchez came up limping two plays later. Clearly, Rex Ryan isn’t all that pleased with his QB’s abandon in those situations.
“I love the kid, but he’s got to grow up and understand that he represents our entire organization, and we want what’s best for him,” Ryan said. “I know why he did it. He wouldn’t have made the first down if he would have slid, but he’s got to understand I don’t care about the first down. I care about him and he has to understand that.”
“The kid’s got to understand we’re trying to teach him to slide,” Ryan said. “I know he’s trying to get the first down. OK, if he would have slid, we wouldn’t have gotten the first down, but we might not have had a quarterback get hurt either. He’s got to understand that it’s in the organization’s best interest to slide in and that was disappointing.
“He just has to understand, this guy is crucial for our organization’s success and he can’t be reckless. Maybe this little setback will show him how serious we are about this. I never want him diving forward. I don’t want to see that. I thought we were clear on it.”
Last night on SNY, Ray Lucas was asked about the play, and took a defense of Sanchez, talking insistently about not squashing Sanchez’s competitive spirit. On the surface, I agree with that notion, but when you factor in a consolidation of draft picks and rostered players to move up to get him, and then a $60 million contract on top of that, stopping himself from diving forwards is the least he can do to protect the team’s investment in him. We talked about this back after the Week 3 win in which Sanchez scared the bajeezus out of all of us on this play.
At the time, Dierdorf was proud, but warned “if you do [that play] enough, that play can backfire.”
Now, things look up slightly, while Sanchez felt optimistic about playing after the long week (a mini-bye if you will) Adam Sanchez Schefter reported this morning for ESPN that Sanchez hit his knee on the ground while diving forward, and that as a result Sanchez sprained the PCL on that knee. Schefter also reported that Sanchez should play at Tampa in nine days, barring any pain in the knee.
While ligament sprains are never good, the PCL seems to require less recovery than the ACL or MCL. For now, we’ll have to just stay tuned, but with the long week and it being the PCL, the Jets might be better off than thought last night.
While many have been comparing Mark Sanchez to a former legendary Jet Quarterback, maybe knee injuries will be something else that makes the analogy more complete? Man I hope not.