SPORTS

On Second Thought, Sánchez May Start...Maybe

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is seen on the file before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is seen on the file before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Rex Ryan is a flip-flopper.

The Jets' coach, after initially saying that he'd bench Mark Sánchez for the team's season finale against the Buffalo Bills, is now changing his tune. He now says his second-year quarterback now may start.

Or not.

"Obviously, his health is the No. 1 concern," Ryan told the Associated Press of Sánchez. "I'm kind of in that fine line because he is hot right now and we can't afford for him to take a dip. We need him to stay at this level. So, those are things we'll definitely consider. I don't want to say 100 percent that he's out or he's in, to be honest with you, but that's kind of what I'm weighing right now."

Sanchez missed some practice time last week after injuring his right shoulder in the Jets' 22-17 win at Pittsburgh, but played well. He was solid against the Bears, completing 24 of 37 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown before his interception in the closing moments sealed the win for Chicago.

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"I think he came out well," Ryan said of Sanchez's health. "He's had treatments and all that kind of stuff, but we'll probably know more when we get back in. My understanding is that he came out fairly well."

Ryan acknowledged that it's "definitely a thought" to have Sanchez start against the Bills, and eventually give way to Mark Brunell, depending on the circumstances.

Sanchez had been struggling in the weeks leading up to the past two games, and his confidence took a hit. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer was also under fire for his shaky game plans.

"As far as the game is concerned, it was good news, bad news, clearly," Ryan said. "The good news is our offense. That's two weeks in a row that if we play offense like this, combined with the way we can play defense and special teams. I think our team is better than we were last year. The thing is, I've got to get this defense back. We have to get this defense back to where we're capable of playing."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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