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Rex: Tim Tebow likely backup again with Greg McElroy inactive

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow heads off

New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow heads off the field after the Jets lost to the Seattle Seahawks in an NFL football game in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-7. Tebow ran four times for 14 yards, and was 3 of 3 passing for 8 yards. (Nov. 11, 2012) Credit: AP

Since the Jets’ decision to activate Tim Tebow over Greg McElroy as the backup quarterback last week when he was too injured to do anything makes no sense, it’s hard for Rex Ryan to defend it.

But Ryan had to again today because he said Tebow is likely to be the backup QB again on Monday at Tennessee with McElroy inactive.

Remember – Tebow has two cracked ribs. So the Wildcat – which didn’t work -- is out for health concerns, according to Ryan.

Tebow is not much of a pocket passer when healthy. McElroy led the Jets to victory in relief of Sanchez two weeks ago and was rewarded by not being elevated over an injured guy who can’t throw that well when healthy.

Whatever forces are at work that are making the Jets keep Tebow active as the backup have not been revealed. So it’s left to Ryan to try to explain it. He tried again today.

“He can be the backup quarterback and run some base things,” Ryan said. “There’s always a chance you could put him in that role.”

Asked why an injured Tebow would be a better choice than a healthy McElroy, Ryan said: “I feel better about Tim in that role. I feel he gives us the best opportunity and that’s why I’ve said all along that he’s our No. 2 quarterback and that’s how I feel . . . I think he can be productive. I do.”

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.”  

Ryan said it was possible McElroy could be active, too, but made it sound unlikely.

“There’s a lot of things that go into the decision,” he 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. I always liked Greg, but I thought his arm strength had to improve to play at this level, and I think he’s done that. I think his arm is really better. I’m excited about Greg. I am. The fact that I have Tim over him doesn’t mean that I don’t like Greg as an option at quarterback. I like Greg.”

Earlier in the week, Ryan had agreed in a radio interview when asked if he thought Tebow was disappointed with his season. Today he clarified that.

“I think with any player – we’re all disappointed about what our record is,” he said. “We’ve only won six games. We’re 6-7. I think all of us are disappointed with that. As far as his particular role, the Wildcat and all those things, we haven’t run it that much and obviously with two broken ribs or cracked ribs, that’s something that has got to be disappointing. That’s how I feel. As a competitor, you want to win a ton of games or win all your games. We’re 6-7. So that’s disappointing for all of us. And again with his role, having the ribs, these last few weeks obviously his role has been diminished some. I don’t think he’s happy about that. But when I said that I think he’s happy to be a Jet, because I see him around his teammates, I think he likes his teammates, he likes the people in the building and the way we take care of our players. You’ll have to ask him, but I’m pretty sure he’s happy with that.”

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