"It's killing me," QB Mark Sanchez said. "It's *killing *me."
He was not referring to his injured right shoulder.
Rather, he was talking about the agony of watching from the sidelines as he sits out, physically unable to lead the troops. He went through his normal routine leading up to Sunday's season opener vs. Tampa Bay, but the righty threw with his left hand in warmups and took on the role of cheerleader and coach during the game.
"I was Geno [Smith]'s biggest fan on Sunday, trying to help him out," Sanchez said. "Anything I saw, anything [Matt] Simms saw, we just tried to talk about it, tried to stay calm and root him on. It's not fun, but I'm happy the team won. That's the most important thing."
The team and their fifth-year quarterback have decided to seek additional opinions on his shoulder, head coach Rex Ryan announced during this morning's press conference. The trips to the doctors will occur at some point this week, Sanchez said, but he will be on the sideline for Thursday night's game against the Patriots.
"I think in a situation like this, it's prudent to get some outside opinions," he said. "I think our team doc, Ken Montgomery, is doing a great job in diagnosing things and making sure we're on track to a speedy recovery. We just want to make sure we're all on the same page, both sides, really, the team and myself."
Sanchez has been listed as day-to-day since taking a hard hit and leaving the game vs. the Giants in the third preseason game, but he missed Sunday's game and has already been ruled out for Week 2. He hasn't had a setback, Rex said. In fact, "I'm feeling a whole lot better," Mark said, adding, "This was kind of part of the plan the whole way. Just another good checkup to make sure we're on track, and keep rolling."
Though he may feel helpless in his role as a spectator, he will continue to help by providing advice and input for Smith and the rest of his teammates, such as not getting caught up "in anything else other than it's a great football team, a solid organization, a tough place to play, a fun place to play. And I think the coaches and all the players will be ready to play, and Geno will too. "The harder you can prepare mentally and the more efficiently you can prepare mentally, the better off you stand to be on Thursday," Sanchez added. "I know Coach [David] Lee's really hammered that home; Marty [Mornhinweg]'s really hammered that home. We've had some good ones on a short week and some not-so-good ones, so hopefully this is a good one."