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Mark Sanchez Out for Preseason Finale

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The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets have announced that Mark Sanchez is out for Thursday's preseason finale against the Eagles.

Presumably we will learn more about his true status in the coming days.

I'm not sure the Jets necessarily need to see Sanchez to play. They know what they have in him. We have seen this preseason that he still is essentially the same player he has always been. As much as certain writers have made his injury out to be as devastating as Aaron Rodgers going down for the Packers, this ship was going down faster than the Titanic anyway if success depended on Sanchez playing well.

I think the questions are really about Geno Smith. We saw last night a guy who didn't play well and frankly looked like he still has to learn in order to be productive in the NFL. There were some positives and some things to build upon, but him playing this year is likely to bring moments where he destroys this team, perhaps too many to have any chance at a winning season.

The big question might be whether he is better-served by sitting or by playing. If he plays, he is likely to struggle, but he can get more comfortable with the speed of NFL defenses, looks he has never seen before, and an NFL playbook. He can learn first-hand what not to do and show what kind of resiliency he has fighting through struggles. On the other hand, it is possible he will be overwhelmed and develop bad habits from which he will never recover.

Nobody can say for sure which of the two is more likely. Anybody who claims they can is overconfident in their own ability. We can only guess. I lean on the side of thinking it might be better getting him into the lineup. Whether the starting quarterback is Smith, Sanchez, Greg McElroy, Matt Simms, or some scrap heap signing, there are likely to be a lot of ugly moments on offense. The one thing with Smith is he has the potential to learn from those moments and improve into a quality quarterback as a result. Being a successful NFL quarterback means overcoming tough times.

I might think differently if there was a viable placeholder, but there isn't even if Mark Sanchez is healthy. If we are looking at rough quarterback play and a long season, they might as well go with the talented rookie. They can evaluate whether he really is the guy with whom they want to go forward.