Sanchez was originally attempting to rehab the shoulder he hurt during the preseason, but he eventually opted to play it safe and completely repair the shoulder with surgery. According to Fox Sports' Mike Garafolo, that surgery is already complete:
Randy Lange at NewYorkJets.com notes that the surgery is season-ending and also provides us with a statement from Sanchez:
After over seven weeks of hard work and intense rehab, I've been advised by Dr. Andrews and other doctors that my shoulder injury clearly needs to be addressed surgically," Sanchez said in a statement. "The injury was recovering at an encouraging rate early on, and I avoided surgery as long as I could, but ultimately I was counseled by the doctors that they simply would have to repair my shoulder.
I'm very disappointed that I can't be out there to help my team on the field, but I’ll continue to help our team in whatever capacity I can. I want to thank Dr. Montgomery, Dr. Andrews, Dr. Burns and Jets trainer John Melody for helping me through this process and advising me along the way. All doctors expect a full recovery and I look forward to getting back on the field. Until then, Go Jets!
Sanchez has been a polarizing figure during his time in New York ever since the team traded up to draft him in the first round in 2009.
On the one hand, the Jets advanced to the AFC Championship Game with Sanchez under center during his first two seasons in the NFL.
On the other, he has a career completion percentage of just 55.1 and turned the ball over 26 times in 2012.
Sanchez was locked in a preseason quarterback battle with the rookie Smith before suffering the injury.
After the injury occurred, Sanchez was upset with the team according to Brian Costello of the New York Post:
Smith has certainly had some rookie moments in place of Sanchez, but he has also shown some tantalizing glimpses, most recently leading a two-minute drive on the road to beat the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football.
It's quite clear that he is the future signal-caller for Rex Ryan's squad.
In March of 2012, Sanchez was given a contract extension that brought his total deal to $58.25 million for five years.
According to Spotrac, he is making $8.25 million this year and is signed through 2016.
That's a pretty penny to spend on a backup quarterback coming off a serious shoulder surgery, and as such, we may have seen Sanchez throw his last pass in New York.