Sanchez: Owner's comment 'non-issue'

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez downplayed owner Woody Johnson's comment that Sanchez needed to defend himself on the play when he suffered his right shoulder injury.

"Listen, I wasn't there for the interview. I've talked to Woody plenty since then," Sanchez said Monday after practice. "So it's really a non-issue."

Sanchez has not played or practiced since injuring that shoulder against the Giants in the team's third preseason game on Aug. 24. In a baffling move, the Jets brought Sanchez into the game in the fourth quarter, and former Giants defensive tackle Marvin Austin walloped Sanchez, leading to the injury.

The Jets were roasted by the public for the move, as Sanchez appeared to have won the quarterback competition between him and Geno Smith. Starting quarterbacks don't play into the fourth quarter of preseason games, especially not behind second and third-string offensive lines.

Johnson seemed to blame Sanchez when he addressed the decision a few weeks later. Later that afternoon, Johnson clarified his comment with reporters, saying he didn't mean to come across that way.

"I wished he hadn't gotten hurt, but you've got to protect yourself, too," Johnson said last week.

Sanchez, who will be heading to get a second opinion on his right shoulder and is still day-to-day, wouldn't divulge the specifics of his talk with the owner.

"I'm not going to get into the conversation," Sanchez said. "Things are great. Mr. Johnson is great. He does everything he can to help this team win. That's what we appreciate."

With Sanchez out, the Jets have turned to the rookie, Smith, and he led the team to a 1-0 start by engineering a last-second game-winning drive in Sunday's 18-17 win over the Buccaneers. Smith will make his second career start on Thursday against the reigning AFC East champion New England Patriots.