Jets’ Sanchez practices, status uncertain

Mark Sanchez is ready to go. He just needs his right knee to

cooperate.

The New York Jets quarterback practiced for the second straight

day Thursday and took 75 percent of the snaps, but a patient coach

Rex Ryan remained undecided on his starter for the game against the

Atlanta Falcons.

“You’re going to ask questions, if he’s definitely going to

start,” Ryan said. “I’m not willing to say that right now. I’m

optimistic about it. I’ll have a great idea (Friday), I think, when

I meet with the medical staff.”

Sanchez, recovering from a sprained right knee, had no swelling

or stiffness and was a full participant in practice after being

limited Wednesday.

“He looked much better today than he even did yesterday,” Ryan

said. “I thought he was more confident today. He looked OK

yesterday. Again, I want to make sure that he’s definitely ready to

play in a National Football League game.”

Sanchez missed the Jets’ 26-3 victory last Sunday at Tampa Bay

after spraining the posterior cruciate ligament against Buffalo on

Dec. 3. Kellen Clemens filled in for Sanchez, and would do so again

if the rookie can’t go Sunday.

“I just want to make sure he feels fine in the morning,” Ryan

said, adding he wants to be patient and sure Sanchez is 100

percent.

Sanchez, showing no signs of a limp, wore a custom-made brace on

his right knee, as well as the left knee, which was previously

injured. Ryan said he thought Sanchez, who jokingly said he

“looked like Forrest Gump,” would wear both braces if he plays

against the Falcons.

“I want to wait it out, but again, it’s more the medical

opinions than my own opinions,” Ryan said. “I’m not going to sit

back and say, ‘Hey, he’s fine.’ I’d like to say that, but I think

it’s probably in the kid’s best interest and our team’s best

interest that our medical staff agrees with that.”

Ryan added that the cold and snowy conditions expected at the

Meadowlands on Sunday would not have any impact on whether Sanchez

would play.

Sanchez spent last week rehabilitating at the team’s facility.

He said he thought he could play and was upset by Ryan’s decision,

although he understood it, and didn’t travel with the team to Tampa

Bay.