Jets fans of a certain age may remember the starting quarterback for the Redskins in Sunday’s game against the Giants.
Mark Sanchez, the former first-round pick of the Jets and their franchise quarterback several times removed, will make his first start for Washington a little over two weeks after first signing with the team. He’s been pressed into service because of injuries to starter Alex Smith and backup Colt McCoy, both of whom suffered fractured legs in game action. McCoy’s happened on Monday night and Sanchez finished the game for Washington.
Sanchez is with his fourth team since leaving the Jets, but those days in New York continue to follow him. When he spoke with Washington area reporters on Wednesday, in fact, the subject of the infamous Butt Fumble against the Patriots on Thanksgiving night in 2012 was broached.
“What are you going to do?” Sanchez said. “It was a crappy play in a game where we were getting our butts kicked . . . Listen, who cares? It’s just one play and move on. I’d prefer to remember the good stuff.”
Sanchez has played for all three of the Giants’ NFC East rivals in his career. His last game against the Giants was in 2014 when he led the Eagles to a 34-26 victory. Pat Shurmur was the Eagles’ offensive coordinator that season.
“I was with Mark Sanchez for more than a year, so he’s very capable of leading a team to victory,” Shurmur said. “I watched it happen.”
Shurmur also figures that Washington will rely heavily on their run game, featuring Adrian Peterson, with Sanchez making his first start since 2015 and having just signed with Washington on Nov. 19.
“They’re going to try to do what Mark can do best, and try to play to the strengths of their team,” he said. “I know they’ve got a soon-to-be Hall of Fame running back, so you can just connect the dots and see what they’ll probably do on offense to compensate for some of the injuries they have.”
As for Sanchez, he said he’s embracing the opportunity even though it comes under less-than-ideal circumstances.
“Two weeks ago it was an unfamiliar position, but really, historically, it’s a familiar position,” he said of being a starting quarterback. “That’s what makes it fun. You work for something, you pray for something and then it finally happens. You don’t care what the circumstances are, you’re just happy to get a shot.”
Notes & quotes: Eli Manning had the line of the day when asked about Saquon Barkley hurdling a defender in Sunday’s win over the Bears. “You know, there are only a few of us who can do that,” the quarterback said. “I’m just waiting for my opportunity. It hasn’t arrived yet.” . . . LB Lorenzo Carter (hip) and LB Tae Davis (knee) did not practice on Wednesday. TE Evan Engram (hamstring) participated in early drills and was listed as limited. So were WR Sterling Shepard (ribs) and LB B.J. Goodson (neck).