FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Greg McElroy has been dreaming of this moment ever since he was a little boy wearing a Troy Aikman jersey.

The Jets' former third-string quarterback will make his first NFL start Sunday in the Jets' home finale against San Diego, Rex Ryan announced Tuesday.

It will be only the second game for McElroy, who relieved former starter Mark Sanchez in Week 13 and delivered a win over Arizona. Ryan inexplicably deactivated McElroy the following week and stuck with Sanchez as the starter -- but Sanchez's five turnovers against the Titans Monday night signaled his return to the bench.

McElroy -- who was selected over Tim Tebow -- said his father reminded him to "live in the moment" because "you've been dreaming about this your whole life."

"I'm just very pleased and proud to have this opportunity and proud that Rex has enough faith in me to go out there and execute," said the 2011 seventh-round pick, who has completed five passes.

McElroy said both of the other quarterbacks have been supportive, adding: "Everything that I've learned at this position in this league has been from Mark." But McElroy won't soon forget how it felt to hear Ryan say he'll be the starter.

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Said the former Alabama standout: "It's probably a conversation I'll replay a million times in my life."

Jet streams

TE Dustin Keller (ankle) is iffy for Sunday, Ryan said. He did not practice; neither did WR Chaz Schilens (calf, knee), CB Aaron Berry (hamstring) and RG Brandon Moore (foot/hip). WR Braylon Edwards (hamstring), S LaRon Landry (heel), NT Sione Po'uha (back), LB Ricky Sapp (ankle) and LB Bryan Thomas (chest) were limited.