Coach Rex Ryan flips: Tim Tebow may run Wildcat now

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14: Head coach

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 14: Head coach of the New York Jets, Rex Ryan talks with Tim Tebow #15 against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on October 14, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) (Credit: Getty Images)

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- If Tim Tebow could reverse field the way Rex Ryan did Friday, he'd gain 100 yards every week.

One day after saying Tebow's Wildcat days were over for 2012, Ryan said the team might run Wildcat plays after all Monday against the Titans. Tebow could be in on punt protection, too.

Ryan, speaking before practice Friday, said Tebow looked much better Thursday. He hasn't played since Nov. 18 because of two cracked ribs. He had the ribs wrapped with ice after Thursday's practice but said after Friday's practice he's "getting better every day."

Whether Ryan misspoke Thursday or is playing games with the Titans is unclear. The Jets also could have been reacting to the "Death of the Wildcat" headlines that filled newspapers and websites Friday.

Or Ryan really could believe this is the week the Wildcat will be productive in a way it hasn't been yet this season. Tebow has rushed 29 times for 87 yards and is 6-for-7 passing for 39 yards.

Ryan said before Thursday's practice that Tebow would be the No. 2 quarterback Monday night, but he added that his ribs would prevent him from running the Wildcat or being part of the punt team. Tebow practiced with the punt team moments after Ryan spoke. On Friday, Tebow said the Wildcat was part of practice "about the same as any week." He will wear a flak jacket Monday.

"That's the best he's looked in several weeks," Ryan said, "so there could be a chance that he does Wildcat. We'll see. He moved around that good.''

Titans coach Mike Munchak, who said his team is preparing for the Wildcat either way, said: "We assumed even if they did some that it wouldn't be a big part of the plan."

Tebow, informed of his coach's flip-flop, said: "I just try to go along one day at a time, one practice at a time. Never fully know what's going to happen. Just go out there and practice, try to do well. Every week there's a little something in the game plan, and you hope you get an opportunity to run it."

Asked if he expects to get that opportunity, he said: "I hope so."

Notes & quotes: After Cincinnati's win Thursday, if the Jets lose Monday, they will be eliminated from playoff contention . . . Quinton Coples was fined $15,000 by the NFL for a facemask penalty on Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne . . . Braylon Edwards (hamstring) was limited in practice for a second straight day, but Ryan remains "hopeful" he can play . . . X-rays showed that Bilal Powell does not have a broken toe, as the Jets had feared. He did not practice. Bryan Thomas (chest) and Dustin Keller (ankle) did not practice but might play . . . Ryan on Antonio Cromartie: "When the Pro Bowl comes out, it would be ridiculous if he doesn't make it."

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