New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow had to undergo X-rays following the team’s 28-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks three weeks ago. Since then he’s been listed on the injury report with a rib injury and was questionable heading into Thursday night’s game against the New England Patriots.
A league source told PFT that he would be a game-time decision and it was possible he wouldn’t play even if he was active.
That’s exactly what happened Thursday night. Tebow was active for the game but did not play in the 49-19 blowout loss to the Patriots.
Now the severity of Tebow’s rib injury has become more clear. According to Mike Garafolo of the USA Today, Tebow said after the game that he has two fractured ribs.
Head coach Rex Ryan said after the game he was only going to use Tebow if absolutely necessary.
“As the week went on it seemed to get progressively worse,” Ryan said. “He had practiced and things but it just seemed like a couple days ago I was noticing him like, man, you could tell he was hurt.”
Ryan said he thought Tebow got worse as the week went along. He said he noticed Tebow’s breathing on the practice field sounding more difficult than usual and it made him re-evaluate his availability.
“Well shoot, I’m not going to play this kid,” Ryan said of realizing how much pain Tebow was experiencing. “I wouldn’t play my son if it was that kind of situation.
“If we absolutely have to have it to win a football or whatever then we may consider it. But to me that would be the only way that we were going to play Tim. The only way I was going to play him.”
So why was Tebow active and third-string quarterback Greg McElroy inactive?
Ryan said it was because Tebow had taken the backup reps throughout the week of practice coupled with Tebow feeling he’d be able to play if needed during pregame warmups.
“The thought did go through my mind to possibly deactivate him but when he came out here he felt that if he had to go he could get it done and that was my decision,” Ryan said.