It appears Mark Sanchez's career as a New York Jet effectively ended in a meaningless preseason game, as he got pounded behind the backup offensive line in a game he shouldn't have been in, and suffered a serious shoulder injury.
Sanchez will likely have surgery for a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, ESPN reported. That's the most likely option after Dr. James Andrews confirmed the injury, the report said. That would end his season, and he's very unlikely to be back with the Jets next year. He could also choose to avoid surgery and rehab the injury instead, ESPN said, but could still land on injured reserve even if he picks that option.
Sanchez's career in New York started with such promise. The Jets traded up to take the USC quarterback with the fifth overall pick. His first two seasons, the Jets made the AFC championship game, and his play in the postseason was a big reason. But he could never shake the interceptions. Jets fans got impatient, and the infamous "Butt Fumble" on Thanksgiving against New England last year will unfortunately end up summing up his time in New York.
The team drafted quarterback Geno Smith in the second round this year, and it was clear the franchise wanted him to start, with or without a Sanchez injury. Smith started the third preseason game, didn't play well, and for some weird reason Rex Ryan put Sanchez in the game in the third quarter. He was smashed to the turf and injured his shoulder. That was it.
There's no reason for the Jets to keep Sanchez around in 2014. His salary isn't guaranteed anymore, and it's hefty. He's due a $2 million roster bonus and a $9 million salary. That's never going to be paid.
Assuming Sanchez goes on injured reserve, it's very likely he has played his last game with the Jets. Sanchez had a remarkably quick fall from grace. It was less than 32 months ago that he was finishing his second season as the starting quarterback for the Jets in an AFC title game.