Florham Park, NJ (Sports Network) - The New York Jets have placed quarterback Mark Sanchez on short-term injured reserve, meaning the former starter could return this season if he recovers from a shoulder problem.
Sanchez will be eligible to practice after six weeks and can return to the active roster two weeks later.
After visiting with noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews earlier this week, reports began to circulate that Sanchez had a torn labrum that could lead to season-ending surgery. However, the decision was made to continue to rehab the injury.
Sanchez hurt his throwing shoulder during the fourth quarter of the Jets' third preseason game against the Giants while playing with reserve offensive linemen. He took a big hit from Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin and ended the play on the ground holding his shoulder.
The fifth-year USC product was competing with rookie Geno Smith for the starter's job during the preseason, but the injury, in part, allowed coach Rex Ryan to hand the role to the second-round pick from West Virginia.
Sanchez helped New York to the AFC Championship Game in each of his first two seasons, but has struggled since. In 15 games last season, Sanchez threw for 2,883 yards with 13 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He was also sacked 34 times and lost eight fumbles.
The Jets are 1-1 this season, following up a last-second, opening-week win over Tampa Bay with a 13-10 loss to New England on Thursday.