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Jets Q&A: Local hero Tim Tebow active but doesn't see action

Tim Tebow looks to pass in the first

Tim Tebow looks to pass in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium. (Oct. 8, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Given that he didn't play, was Tim Tebow's homecoming a dud?

"It's definitely special coming back," the Jacksonville native said. "The Jacksonville fans are always awesome. It was fun for me. Obviously, I love the city of Jacksonville. The fans are great, but I'm a New York Jet and we're happy to get a win today."

But the home crowd, which chanted his name throughout Sunday's game, left EverBank Field disappointed. Despite two fractured ribs, Tebow was active but didn't play a single snap in the Jets' 17-10 win over the Jaguars.

The backup quarterback, who was limited in practice all week and listed as questionable for the game, said he didn't know if he'd see action.

"You want to play. You want to help your team," he said. "It can be hard. I had some great memories in this stadium from Pop Warner to college. If there is an opportunity, I would love to play, but I'm just happy we got a win.''

Rex Ryan said he intended to suit up all three quarterbacks -- starter Mark Sanchez, Tebow and Greg McElroy. But when running back Joe McKnight complained of migraines before the game, Ryan deactivated McElroy and activated backup running back Kahlil Bell.

"I thought as the week went on that Tim was looking good," Ryan said. He added that he wouldn't have felt comfortable with having Tebow run Wildcat plays, but if Sanchez had been injured, Ryan said he would have turned to Tebow.

"I wasn't going to a backup tackle," he quipped. "So absolutely . . . What do you want me to say? I felt good about Tim. He worked out great today [before the game]. He's been getting better. Like I mentioned last week, he is our backup quarterback."


What was McElroy's reaction to being deactivated?

McElroy, who had been in consideration for the starting job against the Jaguars, said he was told "last minute" that he wouldn't be active.

"I went out for warm-ups with the expectation of being up, and obviously things change by the minute in this league," said McElroy, who led the Jets to a 7-6 win over Arizona last week after Sanchez was benched. "So Coach informed me that I was going to be down, so I came in and got ready."

McElroy was disappointed in the decision, of course, but he didn't voice any frustration about his unusual demotion. "You want to be up, obviously," he said. "But at the same time, I understand that coach Ryan has to do what's in the best interest of the team . . . Things change pretty quickly, that's for sure. And at the same time, Mark did a fantastic job. And you've got to understand, your role might change from one day to the next day and it'll change the following day . . . You trust Rex to make those decisions, and I think it was the correct decision today."


Was there any injury update on Stephen Hill?

The rookie wide receiver was injured just minutes into the second quarter while trying to jockey for position on a third-and-5 pass. The throw fell incomplete, but after getting tangled up with cornerback Derek Cox (who was flagged for pass interference), Hill immediately grabbed his right knee and signaled for trainer John Mellody. Hill did not return, and Ryan did not have a medical update.

"That's tough," Sanchez said. "He's working his butt off and getting better each and every week, so you hate to see that happen. But as everybody knows on the team, next man up. We've got to roll."


What about Antonio Cromartie?

The cornerback left the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit with teammate Yeremiah Bell. Though Cromartie was slow to get up and was checked out in the locker room, he returned on the Jaguars' final series.

Cromartie got three snaps at wide receiver and made his first career catch, for minus-2 yards.


What did Bart Scott say about his interception?

The linebacker hadn't picked off a pass since 2006, the only season he was voted to the Pro Bowl. But Scott gave all the credit to outside linebacker Garrett McIntyre, who delivered a big-time hit while Chad Henne was in his throwing motion. "We call it getting a layup," he said after McIntyre's hit resulted in a pop-up that was easy for Scott to catch. "He did all the work. It was relatively easy for me to do my part. So a great play by him and an average play by me."

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