Clemens gets first start since '07

December, 9, 2009
12/09/09
5:45
PM ET
Clemens
Clemens
At various times this year, New York Jets fans have wanted head coach Rex Ryan to take rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez off the field and insert veteran Kellen Clemens.

On Sunday, the fans will get their wish. Regardless of whether this is the best time to see what the team looks like with Clemens at the controls, the Jets have no choice.

Ryan, who has stated over and again Sanchez gives the Jets their best chance to win, announced Wednesday that Sanchez's injured right knee will not be sturdy enough to support him when the Jets visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Jets are mounting a flank attack on the playoffs. They need to win Sunday. They are 6-6, one game behind the New England Patriots.

The Jets would prefer to have Sanchez, but if ever there was a game to give Clemens his first start since December 2007, the one against the 1-11 Buccaneers is as good -- or bad -- as any.

"It's obviously a four-game season to get a fifth" in the playoffs, Clemens said. "We have to go down to Tampa and handle business. As far as putting more pressure on myself, no. Go down there, manage the game, control the football and the way that our offensive line is playing, the way that our defense is playing, I just have to do my job. There is not a lot of added pressure on this position for the game."

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