SPORTS

Mark Sánchez Has MRI on Sore Shoulder

Pittsburgh Steelers New York Jets in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. The Jets won 22-17. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Pittsburgh Steelers New York Jets in an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010. The Jets won 22-17. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Maybe Mark Sánchez should have a bum shoulder more often.

The New York Jets starting quarterback, who led his team to a 22-17 victory Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, played with a shoulder that was "kind of sore," coach Rex Ryan said.

He had an MRI performed on his right shoulder Monday that Ryan said was considered "precautionary."

"Anytime it's your quarterback, you're going to make sure he's OK," the coach said.

The second-year starter hurt the shoulder some time during the Jets' second drive.

"It was like the first time he ran with the football," Ryan said. "His arm was in an awkward position, but it never affected him."

Sánchez is expected to play in Sunday's road game against the Chicago Bears.

The Mexican-American standout had been through a rough stretch of late, having tossed five interceptions in his three previous games, two of which resulted in embarrassing losses. 

But against one of the best defenses in the league – in a raucous Pittsburgh stadium, no less – Sánchez was locked in. He was 19 of 29 for 170 yards with a rushing touchdown and no interceptions, snapping an eight-game streak of being picked off at least once.

"As somebody said, 'Maybe this should happen to you in all these games,' because he played great," Ryan said.

And, would that "somebody" happen to be Ryan?

"No, it wasn't me," Ryan said with a big grin. "Mark and I aren't talking. I'm just kidding."

Ryan also joked that he probably shouldn't have said anything about the shoulder.

"Now that's going to be our story," he said. "Oh, no."

Ryan added that Sánchez might be limited at practice this week because he got "beat up pretty good," along with several teammates in a physical game with the Steelers. He also revealed that he took some practice snaps away from Sanchez — "one or two" — last week to "tick him off more than anything else."

After a loss to the Miami Dolphins last week, Ryan said he considered benching Sánchez. But he stuck by his inconsistent quarterback, and it paid off.

"You send a message that, you know what? You're my guy, and everybody knows you're my guy," Ryan said. "It'll make him accountable. I'll make everybody accountable."

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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