Mark Sanchez defends Rex Ryan decision

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez defends coach Rex Ryan's decision to play him against the New York Giants despite picking up a shoulder injury in the match.

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez has defended coach Rex Ryan's decision to play him in the fourth quarter of their pre-season match against the New York Giants on Saturday.

Ryan drew criticism for introducing Sanchez to the match, with many believing that it was an unnecessary risk given Sanchez's likelihood of starting the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 8.

The 26-year-old picked up a shoulder injury during the match, leaving his participation against Tampa Bay in doubt. However, he believes that players should be ready to play whenever called upon and has no qualms with Ryan using him against the Giants.

"I'm not here to second-guess the coaches. If they call you to play, you better be ready to play, and I was. So I went in and played and tried to win," Sanchez told reporters.

"Look, I'm a competitor. And as a player, it's not my job to worry about when you're going in, who's in, what string, this or that. If they call your number, you've got to play and that's what I do, that's what I've always done. That's not my call. That's the coach's decision.

"I'm obviously not happy that I'm hurt. I felt like I was putting together a good camp, so it's an unfortunate thing. But there's no time to gripe about it. [I] just have to rehab as hard as I can. I know we have the best trainers and they're going to get me in the best position possible [to] try and get back for [the] first week."

Sanchez has been involved in a close competition with Geno Smith for the Jets' starting quarterback jersey but had widely been regarded as the favourite to claim it until his latest injury.

Jets coach Rex Ryan during a game with Jacksonville on August 17, 2013
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