Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. In the Jets’ case, that appears to be exactly what’s happening.
ESPN NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reported that Mark Sanchez has a labral tear in his throwing shoulder, an injury that will likely require surgery, sidelining the Jets’ veteran quarterback for the rest of the season.
It’s a piece of news that ends any quarterback controversy that existed in New York. The Jets, who have mismanaged their circus show more than imaginable, have seemingly caught a break from the universe in the form of some sort of closure. Geno Smith is the Jets’ quarterback moving forward. Period.
It’s a simple statement that should have been made months ago, but for some reason, the Jets as an organization determined that an open competition was the better course of action. Frankly, they were wrong.
Staging an open competition is fine when the quarterbacks involved are on even ground. Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert in Jacksonville are both exceptionally mediocre options. The being the case, it made sense for the Jaguars to run an open competition.
In the Jets’ case, it was the wrong move, and it led to far more controversy than was ever necessary. With Sanchez, everyone knew the team wasn’t going to compete for a playoff spot. With Smith, there’s at least the opportunity for growth. Sure, Smith could have been a flop, but that would have just left the Jets back where they were with Sanchez.
Destiny doesn’t always favor NFL teams. The Steelers, who thought they would be working with a solid offensive line, are now functioning minus one of the best centers in the league, and it was clear something wasn’t right when they faced the Tennessee Titans last Sunday.
Rex Ryan and the Jets have a fighting chance to make something special, or at least serviceable, happen in New York. The team was never able to muster the will to cast Mark Sanchez away, but through a fluky decision to play Sanchez late in a meaningless game, the decision was made for the team, and it probably will benefit them down the road.