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Sanchez to start vs. Bills

The Jets' Mark Sanchez tries to escape from

The Jets' Mark Sanchez tries to escape from the grasp of Chicago's Israel Idonije. (Dec. 26, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Rex Ryan has made his decision.

Mark Sanchez gets the starting nod in Sunday's season finale against the Bills at New Meadowlands Stadium, though he surely won't play the entire game.

Sanchez is nursing a sore shoulder and Ryan had been mulling whether to play the second-year quarterback to help keep him sharp or sit him and give his throwing shoulder extra rest before the playoffs begin next weekend.

"I saw him throw today," Ryan said after the Jets finished up their practice here in Florham Park, N.J. "He looked good, had some zip on the ball and all that stuff. So we are going to go ahead and start Mark this game. How long he'll play, we'll obviously determine that as the game goes. But he will start for us."

So what factored into Ryan's decision to start Sanchez, who's been playing well of late? 

"More than anything, it's just that routine he's established," Ryan said. "He's got a good thing going right now and he's comfortable. And I just wanted to kind of keep that going."

"The other thing is," Ryan added, "we could be playing a Saturday game [next week]. And if we are and all of the sudden [it] comes around and haven't done anything, now all of the sudden you're on a short week. So I think that is really what went into my decision."

Ryan was asked if he thought Sanchez's injury could benefit from the extra rest, if some added down time would help alleviate some of the soreness he's experiencing.

"I'm not going to say that he's going to play 'X' amount of plays or whatever," Ryan said. "But when we look at it, certainly he would not be out there if we didn't think he was healthy, without question. I mean, 11 wins is great. That would be great. But quite honestly, we want to win in the playoffs. But I think by playing Mark, that kind of keeps him on track in doing his things, his routine.

"He looks good right now."  


In other news, Ryan has ruled RT Damien Woody out for Sunday.

Woody, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Dec. 15, didn't practice again today and his status is getting murkier by the day, though Ryan said Woody hasn't had a setback.

"No, not really," he said. "It's just that I think we kind of anticipated him practicing by now. He supposedly will practice some tomorrow, but I don't think he'll be available to play in the game."

Asked if Woody would be available for next weekend's postseason matchup, Ryan said: "I'm not sure. We haven't seen him practice or anything yet. So Wayne Hunter, we have a lot of confidence with Wayne, but we'll see how Damien Woody is."

New York Sports