Ryan: Jets QB Sanchez has sprained PCL

Jets coach Rex Ryan said Friday that Mark Sanchez has a sprained posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, but the team is optimistic that the rookie QB will play next week against the Buccaneers.

Ryan said the team will monitor Sanchez’s progress throughout the coming week and “make the decision that’s in the best interest of Mark.” Ryan also said that Sanchez initially will wear a brace on his right knee, but he shouldn’t have to wear it for the rest of the season.

Ryan went on to say that he wants Sanchez to learn when he must slide to protect himself from injury. Ryan brought in Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Tuesday to help Sanchez work on his sliding technique.

Sanchez was escorted to the locker room Thursday night after he injured the knee after diving headfirst on an 8-yard run early in the third quarter of the Jets’ 19-13 victory over the Bills in Toronto. Sanchez was examined by trainers for several minutes on the sideline before he slightly limped to the locker room.

Sanchez was nursing a sore left knee this week after he was hurt during a 17-6 victory over the Panthers last weekend.

If Sanchez can’t play against the Bucs, fourth-year pro Kellen Clemens most likely would start for the Jets. Clemens completed 1 of 2 passes for 14 yards in relief of Sanchez on Thursday, but took three sacks. He also fumbled the ball once but didn’t lose possession.

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