FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Rex Ryan's teeter-totter still isn't dipping in one particular direction.
Three days after initially indicating he'd be sitting Mark Sanchez against the Bills on Sunday, and two days after saying that his quarterback might get some playing time, Ryan was noncommittal Wednesday.
The Jets coach is still mulling whether to play Sanchez so he can keep him sharp or sit him and give that sore throwing shoulder extra rest before the playoffs begin next weekend. It's a balancing act that has Ryan a bit unsure at the moment.
"I haven't decided he's going to play 'X' amount of plays or if he's going to play at all," Ryan said. "I'm leaning to think that maybe he'll play some, but we'll see."
Ryan likely won't make that final determination until near the end of the week, after he's had more time to gauge Sanchez's health and see how things are going in practice. Even if Sanchez does play, though, Ryan made it crystal clear he won't be out there for the entire game given that there's not a whole lot to play for, other than possibly moving up to the AFC's fifth seed and posting 11 wins for only the third time in franchise history.
Sanchez, without a doubt, wants to hit the field for what will likely be the Jets' final game at New Meadowlands Stadium until next season. He doesn't want to interrupt the routine that has him on his recent roll. He completed his first nine attempts for 110 yards against the Bears and sparked an offense that helped produce 24 second-quarter points, the most by the Jets in a quarter since 1995.
However, he knows Ryan has to do what's best.
"I'm glad I'm not a head coach," Sanchez said. "I always want to play. I like practicing, I like playing. That's all I think about. I love doing it and I just want to be smart with my shoulder and make sure that reps I get are quality reps, that nothing slips during the week of practice and my preparation, film study and then on game day, do as much as Rex needs."
"But if it were up to me, I'd see how it feels on Sunday first before I did anything, and I just want to be right for the playoffs. I know what kind of a grind that is from last year. I need to play even better than I did in the playoffs last year this year for us to win. So, we'll see. It's going to be up to Rex. It's a tough decision and I don't want to be in his shoes."
Sanchez has played well since injuring his right shoulder in the first quarter against the Steelers Dec. 19, completing 65 percent (43 of 66) of his passes for 439 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
"It's just kind of hit a groove and we've felt good with everything," he said. "I'm getting the calls from [offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer], I'm getting the ball out of my hand quickly, I'm getting to the checkdown when I need to, little things like that.
"And it's important to stay sharp this week because we might play a Saturday game the next week and we need to be ready for a short week if that is indeed the case."
But it's Ryan's call.
"If we don't think he is 100 percent or right at it, then no, I'd have a tough time playing him," he said. "I don't think that would be appropriate."