QB Sanchez participates in drills

Mark Sanchez is back -- well, sort of.

The Jets returned to the field Monday for the first time since the AFC Championship Game, and their franchise quarterback -- he of the surgically repaired left knee -- participated in practice on a "limited" basis, according to the team.

Sanchez, who began outdoor running only last week, soft-tossed to receivers in a "pat-and-go" drill. He also took part in light quarterback drills and was "very limited" in a 7-on-7 session, the team said. There were no hard drop-backs and no all-out throws. It was pretty tame, but it was another small step in his recovery.

"Mark looked good throwing the ball today," cornerback Antonio Cromartie told The Associated Press.

The practice, the Jets' first organized team activity of the offseason, was closed to the media.

Sanchez said last week his goal is to be a full go for the mandatory minicamp, June 14. From the moment he underwent surgery on Feb. 17, he vowed to be 100 percent by the start of training camp. He will be evaluated by the medical staff on a day-to-day basis.

Backup quarterback Kellen Clemens handled the bulk of first-team snaps in team drills Monday.

Two high-profile defensive players didn't practice Monday. Recently signed pass-rusher Jason Taylor was excused because of a previously scheduled charity event in Florida. Taylor is expected back for Tuesday's practice. As expected, nose tackle Kris Jenkins, coming off major knee surgery, was held out as a precaution.

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.