Redskins starting quarterback Alex Smith broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg in Sunday’s 23-21 loss to the Houston Texans. McCoy, in his fifth season with Washington, will start in place of Smith. But the Redskins had no other quarterback on the roster or even on the practice squad. They opted for Sanchez from a group that included E.J. Manuel, Kellen Clemens, Josh Johnson and T.J. Yates.
Sanchez does have several ties to the Redskins from his four seasons with the New York Jets. Redskins passing game coordinator Kevin O’Connell was a backup quarterback for parts of three seasons with the Jets during Sanchez’s time there. Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh served in the same role with the Jets from 2009-12. And Redskins offensive line coach and assistant head coach Bill Callahan held the same title for three seasons during Sanchez’s tenure.
Sanchez, the fifth overall pick in the 2009 draft, offers the Redskins veteran experience. He has started 72 games and six more in the postseason. He has thrown 86 touchdown passes and 86 interceptions in his career and owns a career 73.9 passer rating and a 40.2 QBR.
The Redskins have been one of the NFL’s best at taking care of the ball this season, with only nine turnovers. In 2011-12 — his last two seasons with New York — Sanchez threw a combined 36 interceptions and fumbled 16 times. One of those became known as the “Butt Fumble”, which occurred in a Thanksgiving Day game vs. the New England Patriots on Nov. 22, 2012 — six years to the day when he’ll suit up for Washington for the first time when the Redskins play at Dallas.
Sanchez has also played for the Eagles and Cowboys and spent time on the rosters of the Bears and Broncos.
Sanchez is 4-2 in the postseason with a 71.5 total QBR a 95.5 passer rating with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. He helped the Jets reach the AFC Championship Game twice.