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Mark Sanchez practices for first time

Mark Sanchez returned to practice for the first

Mark Sanchez returned to practice for the first time on Dec. 15, 2009 after injuring his knee against Buffalo 12 days earlier. Photo Credit: MCT Photo

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Jets coach Rex Ryan has yet to make a decision on Mark Sanchez's status for Sunday's game against Atlanta.

The coach said he wants to wait and see how the rookie quarterback feels Thursday morning before he names a starter.

"As of right now, he feels good, looked good out there, moved well," Ryan said of Sanchez. "I'll check again with our medical staff tomorrow morning and then we'll decide exactly what we'll do with the reps and stuff like that moving forward."

Sanchez, who returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since spraining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Dec. 3 against Buffalo, split reps with veteran quarterback Kellen Clemens during the team's morning practice outside.

Sanchez wore braces on both his right and left knee, which he hurt the previous week when he was tackled on a scramble against Carolina.

Though Sanchez appeared unimpeded by braces, Ryan said he will rely heavily on input from his medical staff before making a decision.

Sanchez spent last week rehabilitating and missed Sunday's game against Tampa Bay. Ryan said the quarterback will be examined by team doctors on Thursday to make sure there's no stiffness or swelling in the knee.

In Sanchez's absence, Clemens helped lead the Jets to a 26-3 victory over the Buccaneers, going 12 for 23 for 111 yards with no turnovers.

Asked how he is approaching this week, the back-up quarterback told reporters: "As if I'm going to play. And if Mark's healthy enough to go, whatever the medical people say, whatever Rex decides, then he'll go. If not, I'm ready."


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