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Greg McElroy will replace Mark Sanchez as Jets' starting QB

Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets

Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets Credit: Greg McElroy #14 of the New York Jets (Getty Images)

Updated 8:03 p.m. Mark Sanchez has been benched for Sunday's game against San Diego, and Greg McElroy has been named the starter, the Jets announced Tuesday.

The switch comes after Sanchez threw four interceptions and fumbled on the final play Monday night in a 14-10 loss at Tennessee that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.

"Where the team is now, I think this is best for the team," Jets head coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday on a conference call with reporters. "It's my decision. I'm choosing to go with Greg. ... It's not necessarily about one guy. Obviously, we can't turn the ball over five times and expect to win." Ryan said he told Sanchez he would be replaced after the game Monday night, but didn't say by whom. Ryan added that he is not yet sure if Sanchez or Tim Tebow will be the No. 2 quarterback this week.

McElroy was inactive for Monday's game, as he has been for all but one game this season. Tebow was the backup quarterback Monday for Sanchez, who has an NFL-leading 50 turnovers in the past two seasons. Tebow played the third series of the game for Jets, a predetermined decision by coaches.

The Jets signed Sanchez to a contract extension this past offseason that runs through 2016. The fourth-year quarterback is guaranteed $8.25 million in 2013, which figures to be prohibitive in possibly trading or releasing him after this season.

Rex Ryan floated the idea last week of starting the former Alabama standout against Jacksonville, but the Jets coach maintained he felt more comfortable with Tim Tebow as his No. 2.

"I feel better about Tim in that role," Ryan said leading up to Monday's game.

"That's what I'll always do, and everyone is tired of me saying it, but I feel [Tim] gives us the best opportunity. That's why I've said all along that he's our No. 2 quarterback. That's how I feel."

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