NFL

Jets hold out hope that Tebow will be active

12/07 4:55 PM

Rex Ryan held out the increasingly remote possibility that Tim Tebow could dress as the backup quarterback Sunday in Jacksonville, and said Tebow will travel with the team before a final game-day decision is made.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets coach Rex Ryan held out the increasingly remote possibility that Tim Tebow could dress as the backup quarterback Sunday at the Jacksonville Jaguars, and said Tebow will travel with the team before a final game-day decision is made.

"He's done more this week in practice, quite a bit more," Ryan said Friday. "We want to see how he travels, what he feels like on game day, probably work him out before the game just to make sure he's ready to go before we make that decision."

Tebow has thrown with his left hand, which was difficult for him after initially sustaining two fractured ribs. After the Patriots game, he played catch with some children using his right hand. Last Sunday, Tebow had another round of X-rays on his ribs, and Ryan decided he wouldn't be in on any punt protection if he were active in Jacksonville.

Still, it is overwhelmingly likely that Greg McElroy -- who led the Jets to their only touchdown of the Cardinals' win in relief for starter Mark Sanchez -- will reprise that role in Jacksonville.

Or this: "There's a possibility you could go with three quarterbacks for this game as well," Ryan said.

That's happened five times in the NFL this season, most recently on Thursday when the Raiders had Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor and Matt Leinart active. Ryan has been reluctant to use a third roster spot for a player who can't realistically contribute, but after he was exposed against the Patriots for dressing a very hurt Tebow and not having a viable McElroy ready, it seems the coach has reconsidered.

So Tebow will travel to his hometown with the Jets, but even if he dressed he wouldn't be in on punt protection, or even the Wildcat offense, which Ryan inadvertently revealed when discussing how the reps were divided between Sanchez and McElroy this week.

"Sometimes when you have Tim doing a lot of Wildcat stuff we'll actually have some Wildcat periods," Ryan said, and then paused. "I don't want to say we don't have any Wildcat up ... I kind of blew that there."

So no Wildcat and no punt-protection roles for Tebow, but he could still put on a Jets uniform ceremonially for his hometown fans Sunday in Jacksonville. But even that will be a game-time decision.


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