NFL notebook: Jets return to Sanchez as QB
The New York Jets’ quarterback follies took another unexpected twist yesterday when the team announced that Greg McElroy was experiencing concussion symptoms and Mark Sanchez would start on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
Sanchez had been benched in favor of McElroy, the third-string quarterback, after a five-turnover debacle against Tennessee on Dec. 17. But McElroy’s lone start did not go well, either. He was sacked 11 times in a 27-17 loss to San Diego last Sunday.
Both times that coach Rex Ryan has made the choice of starter, he skipped over Tim Tebow to do so, bypassing him on the depth chart to tap McElroy and again to bring back Sanchez. Ryan said the team was more comfortable with Sanchez because he had started the first 14 games of the season and Tebow has appeared in only a handful of plays.
“Obviously, Tim isn’t happy with it, as you’d expect,” Ryan said.
Sanchez said he would talk about this week’s game, but not about his future.
“Well, I’m trying to be a pro,” he said. “Trust me, this isn’t ideal.”
Ryan also hinted that McElroy had been concealing the concussion he suffered, saying, “He wasn’t exactly truthful with our training staff,” until he was lifting weights yesterday morning and finally complained of headaches.
Sanchez led the Jets to a 48-28 victory over the Bills in the season opener. He has passed for 13 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
Seahawks’ Sherman sees suspension overturned
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has won his appeal of a four-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing substances, making him eligible for the playoffs.
Sherman posted “I won,” on his Twitter account yesterday morning, followed by teammates tweeting their congratulations. Sherman added, “Thank you (at)nfl for upholding the truth! To the 12s Thank you your faith is rewarded! Thank you lord.”
The decision was made by former NFL executive Bob Wallace.
Sherman was steadfast since news broke of his pending suspension that he believed he would win on appeal. Sherman’s appeal was based on errors in the chain of custody of his sample and that there were mistakes made by the tester. Sherman made his appeal late last week.
Giants can’t explain defensive breakdowns
A year after carrying the New York Giants to their second Super Bowl title in five seasons, the defense is one of the major reasons the team is on the verge of missing the playoffs.
Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, the Giants’ defense is ranked 30th in the NFL. Only Jacksonville and New Orleans are worse.
The pass rush that hounded and battered quarterbacks last season seems a distant memory. The run defense is nonexistent and big plays by opponents are more the norm than the exception.
Even coordinator Perry Fewell seems to be at a loss, especially after the past two weeks. The Giants (8-7) were outscored 67-14 in losses to Atlanta and Baltimore and gave up a combined 927 yards.
Ravens’ Reed sustains$55,000 fine for hit
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has been fined $55,000 by the NFL for a hit on New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz during Sunday’s game.Last month, a one-game league suspension on Reed was overturned but he still was fined $50,000 for a hit on Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.