Tebow will be active for Jets, but no wildcat
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 5:51 p.m.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Tim Tebow's days of running the New York Jets' wildcat-style offense appear over for now.
The backup quarterback will be active Monday night for the team's game at Tennessee, but will likely not run the wildcat or participate as the punt protector on special teams. Tebow has not played in the Jets' last three games while dealing with two broken ribs, sustained Nov. 11 at Seattle.
"I think he's improving," coach Rex Ryan said Thursday. "Improving to where you're going to run the powers and the counters and all that other stuff? I'm not sure about that."
Tebow was expected to be limited at practice, as he has been in recent weeks. Ryan said tight end Dustin Keller (ankle), running back Bilal Powell (shoulder, broken toe), defensive back Aaron Berry (hamstring) and wide receivers Clyde Gates (concussion) and Stephen Hill (knee) are all not expected to practice. Despite Powell's toe injury, Ryan thinks he'll be OK to play Monday night.
Newly re-acquired wide receiver Braylon Edwards was expected to be limited with a hamstring issue, but passed his physical with the Jets and Ryan expects him to play against the Titans.
Tebow has been medically cleared to play the last few weeks, but Ryan has chosen to keep him on the sideline rather than risk further injury. Tebow played three offensive snaps against St. Louis on Nov. 18, but the soreness in his ribs intensified after the game. X-rays revealed the fractures, but Tebow convinced Ryan he could play Thanksgiving night — after being cleared by team doctors — but never saw the field.
He was inactive against Arizona two weeks ago, with Greg McElroy serving as the backup to Mark Sanchez — who he replaced in that game and led New York to a comeback victory. Ryan said it's possible third-stringer McElroy could also be active at Tennessee, but Tebow is still the No. 2 quarterback.
"I feel better about Tim in that role," Ryan said. "I feel he gives us the best opportunity."
Ryan said Tebow has not experienced any setbacks with his injury, and there isn't any cartilage damage or further complications.
"I'm more comfortable with him playing now, obviously, than I was a few weeks ago," Ryan said. "I feel better about him playing with the way he's worked out on the practice field, we've increased his reps, and the day before the (Jaguars) game, he was throwing it pretty good."
Tebow was expected to be a major part of the offense after being acquired from Denver in March, but he has had little more than a minor role in New York. Ryan clarified his comments from Monday when, during a radio interview, he said he would think Tebow is disappointed with his situation with the Jets.
"As far as his particular role, the wildcat and all those type of things, we haven't run it that much and obviously with the two broken ribs or cracked ribs, that's something that's got to be disappointing because you're not going to do that," Ryan said. "That's how I feel. As a competitor, you want to win a ton of games, want to win all your games but we're 6-7, so I think that's disappointing for all of us. With his role, having the ribs these last few weeks, obviously his role has been diminished some. I don't think he's happy about that."
Ryan quickly added that he believes Tebow is still happy to be a member of the Jets.
"I think he likes his teammates," Ryan said. "I think he likes the people in the building and the way we take care of our players. You'll have to ask him, but I'm pretty sure he's happy with that."
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