Speculation: Is Mark Sanchez Playing Hurt?

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24: Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets looks to throw a pass against the New York Giants during the third quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium on December 24, 2011 in East Rutherford. New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)

Cimini wonders whether an injury might be affecting Mark Sanchez.

Mark Sanchez's proficiency on deep passes started to drop off six games ago, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That means it started with the Nov. 17 loss in Denver, where it's believed he suffered a pinched nerve in his neck. In fact, he first appeared on the Jets' injury report the week after the Denver game.

Though he never missed any practice time due to the injury (at least that's what the Jets tell us), a neck/right shoulder injury shouldn't be dismissed as a nothing deal, especially for a right-handed quarterback.

After watching some of the shots he has taken because of bad protection and the way he has stayed on the ground after some of these hits, I am almost expecting we are going to find out next week that Sanchez has been playing hurt. I think Sanchez's issues, particularly his trouble with his reads, go beyond any injury, but pain he is feeling might very well be affecting him.

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