Coach Rex Ryan thinks it could happen.
Sanchez, hurt in the team's third preseason game, is rehabilitating his injured right shoulder rather than immediately having season-ending surgery. The exact nature of the injury has not been revealed, although some published reports say it is a torn labrum.
"If we didn't think it'd be realistic that Mark would get on the field, then he would be put on IR," Ryan said Friday. "And that's not the case."
"He's doing a great job in rehab," Ryan said, "and our doctors and our trainers are pleased."
Sanchez appeared to have an edge in the tightly contested quarterback competition after rookie Geno Smith struggled with three interceptions in the preseason game against the Giants. But, Ryan decided to play Sanchez in the fourth quarter of that game, a call for which the coach has taken a lot of criticism since it was in garbage time when Sanchez took a crunching hit from Marvin Austin.
In an interview with NFL Network, Sanchez said he was disappointed by the injury because he felt he undoubtedly beat out Smith for the starting job. Ryan, however, has never declared a winner in the competition.
Ryan said he would expect any competitor to think he was winning the job, but added, "His comments about that he clearly thinks he won the competition or whatever, that's his opinion."
Indianapolis Colts starting running back Vick Ballard will miss the rest of the season because a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Ballard was hurt making a cut in practice Thursday.
Former New York Giants star Ahmad Bradshaw is expected to start Sunday against Miami, and the Colts are promoting rookie Kerwynn Williams, a seventh-round draft pick, from the practice squad to the active roster.
Coach Bruce Arians said Fitzgerald "tweaked" a hamstring in practice on Wednesday.
Fitzgerald, in his 10th NFL season, has missed just four games in his NFL career.
Long, the second overall pick in 2008, has posted double-digit sack totals the last two seasons and has played in 81 consecutive games, the third-longest streak among defensive ends.
Jets safety Dawan Landry was fined $21,000 for unnecessary roughness after he hit Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Williams — deemed a defenseless player — in the head and neck area after Williams caught a 17-yard touchdown pass.