Updated, 1:55 p.m. ET
The New York Jets have placed quarterback Mark Sanchez on Injured Reserve, Designated for Return.
The designation means that Sanchez will be eligible to return to practice after six weeks and will be eligible to return to the active roster after eight weeks from being placed on the reserve list.
"Doing this is really in keeping with our primary goal to give Mark every chance to return to practice and play this season," general manager John Idzik said on a conference call this afternoon.
"Mark wants to be with the club. He's the ultimate team player. He wants to be with the club, he wants to help the team. In particular he wants to help Geno [Smith], Matt [Simms], Brady [Quinn], everybody in that room. Obviously he has a thorough knowledge of what's going on. He wants to be with us and we're happy to have him here."
Sanchez expressed similar sentiments as he followed Idzik on the same conference call with reporters.
"I think we made the decision that's best for the team, best for me and my medical health. I'll come back in eight weeks and be ready to play," Sanchez said, adding about his future with the team, "I'm a Jet, I've been a Jet from day one. I don't plan on doing anything else. I'm focused on this rehab and getting ready to play."
Idzik said the plan for Sanchez's shoulder injury was modified to "a conservative, non-surgical approach" after the quarterback received several outside medical opinions on the injury.
"After weighing all those opinions, we thought this was the proper thing to do," Idzik said. "We probably should not push the pace or push the envelope too much. Mark's always going to push it, but the smart thing to do is to take a little more time and let the rehab progress at a more manageable pace."
That pace, said the GM, times up with the Jets' schedule, with their bye week on Nov. 10 after nine games of the season have been played.
"After six weeks Mark would be able to practice with the club. After eight weeks he would be eligible to be reactivated, which would be immediately following our bye," Idzik said. "Mark would be able to practice for the New Orleans prep week and the bye week. And depending on how the rehab goes, he'd be eligible to be reactivated for the Buffalo week [Nov. 17].
"We've done this in concert with Mark and with all the medical opinions we've received. We feel it's a good course of action for Mark and will give him every chance to return this season, which is the primary objective."
Until then, Sanchez is able to rehab and to attend all meetings at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. He just can't participate in practice for at least the next six weeks.
"In my position now, I'm trying to help Geno and help the other guys, give them as much information as I can," he said. "The most important thing is the Buffalo game [a week from Sunday], and in my own personal world, I'm trying to get my shoulder right. Those are the only things I'm thinking about."
Sanchez said that if adding a player to take his spot on the roster "can help us win games, that's another plus."
Idzik was asked about Sanchez's position in the quarterback competition that he and head coach Rex Ryan have said is ongoing. He declined to speculate about 2014 or about later this season when Sanchez returns to active duty.
"I characterize the quarterback position like anything else. I think everyone's getting a taste that we don't look too far into the future," the GM said. "Right now our sights are set on Buffalo and Geno is our quarterback for Buffalo. I know that everyone would love to have the situation settled and name all the positions for the rest of the season. We don't look at it like that. We literally take it day-to-day, week-to-week, game-to-game, and that's how we're approaching the quarterback position."
Sanchez said all of that is OK by him.
"All we can tell you is we're taking things on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis. I feel great where I am now. I'm constantly improving, and I'll be back as soon as I can after the short-term IR period is over," he said.
As for who the starter should be once he is well enough to play again, he said, "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. I'm going to do everything I can to play and compete. I expect to be the starter. I always have been."
Sanchez, who was in competition for the Jets' starting QB role at the time of his shoulder injury, played in the first three preseason games this summer. He completed 28 of 42 passes (66.7%) for 366 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions and had a 90.0 passer rating.