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Mark Sanchez To Start For Jets Against Jacksonville

Decision Comes Day After Geno Smith's 'Brutal' Practice
Mark Sanchez (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Mark Sanchez (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mark Sanchez will start at quarterback against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday, the New York Jets announced Thursday via Twitter.

The decision comes one day after head coach Rex Ryan criticized rookie Geno Smith for his four-interception performance at practice.

“It was brutal,” Ryan said Wednesday. “That was Geno’s worst day.”

Sanchez and Smith have been locked in a competition for the team’s starting job. Smith, a second-round pick out of West Virginia, has been practicing with a sprained right ankle suffered in the team’s preseason opener.

LICHTENSTEIN: WE’RE STUCK WITH A SANCHEZ SEQUEL

“I haven’t really been trying to use it as an excuse,” Smith said. “I’ve been going out there and giving it my all, and I think I’ve done a good job of just pushing through this week.”

Ryan acknowledged it’s a “possibility” that Smith won’t play at all in the second preseason game.

“I don’t believe he’s close to 100 percent right now,” Ryan said. “But again, that doesn’t mean we have a few more days, that it can’t get a lot better. We’ve seen these type of injuries get better in a hurry, so we’ll see how it goes.”

It will be Sanchez’s first game of the year at MetLife Stadium. He also started the team’s first preseason game in Detroit, ending with mixed reviews after an early pick-six.

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