Plaxico Burress can’t seem to make up his mind. That tends to happen when things don’t work out quite like you planned and you suddenly realize you might not have the options you once thought you did.
“He definitely has enough arm,” Burress said to WFAN-AM in New York about Sanchez, “He was battling some injuries last year, shoulder-wise that a lot of people didn’t know about … different things like that. But I think he really turned the corner.”
That’s a much more supportive statement about Sanchez then the ones Burress made when he recently appeared on ESPN First Take. When Burress was asked if he thought Sanchez could take the Jets to the Super Bowl, Burress said, “They just paid him so I think they believe he is.” When the question was repeated to him Burress said, “Um, I think the defense will. I think they definitely have a Super Bowl defense.”
While he didn’t actually come out and directly criticize Sanchez, they way he side-stepped the question he came off as very dismissive of Sanchez and his ability.
Burress had his heart set on joining the Eagles this upcoming season, but it hasn’t happened and it doesn’t appear it will happen. Not only were the Eagles not interested in acquiring his services, but no one else seems all that interested either. So now maybe Burress is just trying to show that he can be a good solider and he’s trying to convince teams that he won’t be a problem in the locker room. No matter his motivation for saying what he said this week, there just might be something to it.
Sanchez hurt his shoulder during the 2010 season and the Jets downplayed the injury from the start. After the season ended they finally admitted the injury was worse than they originally let on and Sanchez would get the shoulder looked at. They then elected against surgery, figuring it would heal with rest, but did it? Did it ever heal 100 percent? Did it heal and then get re-injured?
There were rumblings about Sanchez being injured at times last season, but nothing was ever confirmed. It was hard to tell if there was something to the rumors or if it was pure speculation based on the level of play not being where many expected it to be. But thinking back, it’s a lot easier to think he probably did suffer an injury at some point last season considering the way the offensive line got him continually driven into the ground. The fact that Sanchez was able to walk off the field in Baltimore on his own power is a minor miracle in itself.
Maybe Sanchez really did play through a serious shoulder injury last year, it’s certainly not a big leap to make. If this is in fact the case (and as much as this seems like Burress playing nice, would he really make up an injury to do so?) then Jets fans can hope that Sanchez can come back 100 percent healthy and play to the level that the team, who paid him and therefore believes in him, expects him to play at.
But there’s also the flip side to that. If he hurt the same shoulder two years in a row and never did anything to fix it then naturally there should be some concern that it could happen again. Rex Ryan preaches the mantra of, “no excuses,” so we’ll likely never know for sure how bad the shoulder was and Sanchez himself certainly won’t be looking for any excuses either.
Maybe Burress was just playing nice, but it’s something worth keeping an eye on. With Jets West Camp getting under way yesterday and training camp just over two weeks away one would think Sanchez’s shoulder is at 100 percent right now, but is he just one hard shot away from re-injuring the shoulder?
There are no available answers to this question yet, but it’s an important question to remember because there’s a chance we could be revisiting this question during the season. Of course, as with most questions surrounding the Jets now, all these questions could all go away if Sanchez simply performs like his teammates and coaches expect him to.
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