FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Wildcat has been declawed.
Jets coach Rex Ryan on Thursday said Tim Tebow's days as a sometimes option quarterback for the Jets in 2012 likely are over. While Ryan pinned the decision on Tebow's two cracked ribs, the fact that the Wildcat hasn't been effective all season probably was a factor in why the Jets are not practicing it as they prepare for Monday night's game at Tennessee.
Tebow will be the Jets' No. 2 quarterback Monday, just as he was Sunday at Jacksonville. But Ryan made it clear that Tebow will enter the game only if starter Mark Sanchez is injured and that he would be expected to run the Jets' base offense.
Oh, and Tebow won't be on the punt-protection team anymore, either.
"I don't really see him in that [punt team] role," Ryan said. "As far as the Wildcat, obviously with the ribs the way they are . . . Hopefully, once we get the OK with those ribs, we can expand that, but that's probably not necessarily going to be a big factor in our game plan . . . He can be the backup quarterback and run some base things."
Ryan once again spent a good portion of his news conference answering questions about a player who will take the field only if something goes wrong. Tebow hasn't played a down since Nov. 18 at St. Louis.
At one point, Ryan said: "OK, we're going to run the Wildcat. No, I'm just kidding. Just to get out of this conversation."
Tebow said his ribs are feeling better and that he feels ready to do whatever is needed. Even if that's nothing.
When asked about comments Ryan made earlier in the week about this season probably being a disappointment for him, Tebow pointed to the injury, not the way he has been handled by the Jets.
"It's definitely been somewhat frustrating because you would love to be healthy," Tebow said. "And the few opportunities you get, you get banged up on one of them. Kind of crazy. That's a little frustrating but, hey, you try to deal with them as best you can and have a good attitude.
"Sometimes you have ups and downs and you just try to deal with them as best you can. They're all a learning opportunity, and when you believe everything happens for a reason, it makes it all a lot easier. Also, you try to find the good in every situation."
Ryan said he is sticking with Tebow as the No. 2 for the second straight week even though Greg McElroy is healthier than Tebow. McElroy led the Jets to a victory over Arizona on Dec. 2 in relief of an ineffective Sanchez.
McElroy was inactive last week and probably will be on Monday.
"There's a lot of things that go into the decision," Ryan said. "Obviously, Tim's had many more reps and I'm just more comfortable with Tim. I like Greg. I think Greg is improved a ton since his rookie year."