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Jets’ Sanchez On Ailing Shoulder: ‘I’m Playing’

Jets Quarterback Says Sitting Out Vs. Bears Not A Possibility
Mark Sanchez

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, left, escapes from the Steelers’ LaMarr Woodley on Dec. 19, 2010, in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (WFAN/AP) — Mark Sanchez is ready to play, even if his shoulder is still a bit sore.

The New York Jets quarterback was limited in practice Wednesday, but insisted he’ll be under center when the team plays at Chicago on Sunday whether or not his right shoulder is 100 percent.

“I’m in there,” Sanchez said. “I’m playing, that’s all there is to it. I have to be on the field. That’s what I’m here for and that’s what I’m going to do.”

The Jets (10-4) would clinch a playoff spot, their second straight under coach Rex Ryan, with a win over the Bears (10-4).

Sanchez played most of the Jets’ 22-17 win at Pittsburgh last Sunday with a banged-up throwing shoulder after he “fell funny” on New York’s second drive. He finished 19 of 29 for 170 yards and ran for a touchdown, snapping an eight-game interception streak.

Sanchez had an MRI exam on the shoulder Monday, which revealed a slight cartilage tear.

The second-year quarterback did mostly soft-tossing early in practice Wednesday, and even threw a few passes left-handed.

“I felt good at practice today,” Sanchez said. “They kept me limited, just to be smart, but if we were playing today, I’m definitely in there. I feel good and I’ll be ready for Sunday.”

Sanchez said he went through all the footwork and participated on every running play to make sure he’s mentally prepared for the game against the Bears. He added that he “should” be able to get in a full practice before the game.

Ryan said it’s a “possibility” Sanchez’s shoulder could get worse, “but we don’t anticipate it.”

After struggling for a few games, Sanchez had a few practice snaps taken away from him last week. It was a move Ryan half-kiddingly said was just to “tick him off” and give backup Mark Brunell a few plays. Sanchez said the two spoke about it.

“He knows that we have an understanding that I don’t always agree with him,” Sanchez said. “It’s personal to me (the starting job) and I think he knows that. … I’m possessive about this job, so we had a little talk about it, but it’s good. We’re both competitive, so it was good. I think part of it was a psychological thing just to kind of test me a little bit, so we’re good.”

Meanwhile, wide receiver Santonio Holmes did not practice, sitting out with turf toe, but also is expected to play.

“During the game, I guess he had a toe injury and I never thought it was that bad,” Ryan said. “I never knew that we would have to hold him out today. It was bad enough to keep him out. I expect him to play, but he was not comfortable today.”

Ryan added that he thinks Holmes will be able to practice at some point this week, and doesn’t think he’s out “by any stretch of imagination.” Holmes has 47 catches for 660 yards and four touchdowns.

Safeties James Ihedigbo (right knee and ankle) and Eric Smith (concussion) did not practice. Ihedigbo played against the Steelers after missing a game, and is expected to be ready against the Bears. Ryan said Smith did some jogging and did not rule him out for Chicago.

Right tackle Damien Woody (right knee) will miss his second straight game after having arthroscopic surgery last week, and again be replaced by Wayne Hunter.

Defensive lineman Trevor Pryce was limited after missing a game with a hip injury. He expects to play against the Bears.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

pixy Jets Sanchez On Ailing Shoulder: Im Playing