Tim Tebow sure could be the savior whom the New York Jets need right now, if it wasn’t for his broken ribs.
“They need a little time to get better,” Tebow said after the Jets’ horrifying performance in a 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots.
Coach Rex Ryan chose to use Tebow as the backup Thursday night, but would have used him only in an emergency. While some saw the Jets’ performance as close to that, Sanchez’s health didn’t warrant risking Tebow’s ribs, especially in light of the frightening rib injury Ben Roethlisberger suffered.
However, it’s rather curious that Ryan chose to keep Tebow as the backup rather than activate Greg McElroy for the game.
“I appreciate his concern,” Tebow said of Ryan. “I had to do a little bit of talking just to dress, but I just want to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation.”
It was a surprise when Tebow, who is averaging only about seven plays on offense, didn’t appear on special teams. It’s also not clear why the Jets traded him, if they were going to sideline him most of the season.
“I was ready to go if they needed me,” he said. “Obviously, it wasn’t ideal. I just wanted to be there for my teammates and do whatever I can to help.”
Ryan explained why he dressed a QB with injured ribs over a health McElroy.
“It was never told to me that [Tebow] couldn’t play. In fact, it was just the opposite,” Ryan told reporters Friday. “It was me saying, ‘No, we’re not going to play him unless we absolutely have to.’ Again, it was something I went in and absolutely said, ‘Listen, I don’t want you to play him.’ I told that to [special teams coach Mike] Westhoff, I told that to [offensive coordinator] Tony [Sparano]. I did not feel comfortable, and that’s the truth.”
Ryan reiterated that Tebow could have played in an emergency, though.