Ryan ended months of speculation this afternoon when he confirmed that Smith would play in Sunday's match against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with the rookie edging out Sanchez for the starting position.
Sanchez picked up a shoulder injury in a pre-season match last month that may have ultimately cost him his place in the side, but Ryan hinted that they will further assess his first-team chances when he is fully fit.
"He's just not ready right now. We'll see what the future holds as we move forward, but clearly right now he's not ready," Ryan told the team's official website.
Sanchez will be the highest-paid back-up in the NFL if he fails to regain his first-team spot this season.