New York Jets owner says Mark Sanchez needed “to protect himself”

Aug 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez leaves the field with a shoulder injury during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson unwittingly continued the Mark Sanchez controversy on Wednesday when a quote of his seemed to blame Sanchez’ injury… on Mark Sanchez.

“I don’t have any regrets,” Johnson said, quoted by Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “He’s an experienced guy. I wish he hadn’t gotten hurt, but you got to protect yourself, too.”

Sanchez suffered an injury to his shoulder late in the Jets’ preseason loss to the Giants and his injury sparked a firestorm against Head Coach Rex Ryan, who’d put Sanchez back into the game late despite it being a preseason contest with nothing at stake.

Hours after his initial comments, Johnson later said he didn’t mean to blame the injury on Sanchez.

“I may have said or I’ve been accused of saying that Sanchez’s injury was his fault,” Johnson said. “That was not my intent at all. Of course, it wasn’t his fault. He was trying to make a play.”

Regardless of who is to blame for Sanchez’s injury—or if anyone is to blame at all—the Jets plan to start rookie Geno Smith at quarterback in their Week 1 matchup against Tampa Bay. The start of the Geno Smith era could signal the ending to the Mark Sanchez era.

Topics: Mark Sanchez, New York Jets

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