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Tim Tebow starts if Mark Sanchez is hurt

Tim Tebow, left, and Mark Sanchez of the

Tim Tebow, left, and Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets before a preseason game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium. (Aug. 18, 2012) Credit: Getty

Ever since the Jets acquired Tim Tebow, they have emphasized his multi-purpose role as the “Wildcat” quarterback, and they even plan to expose him to harm as the up back on the punting team. Under the circumstances, there was reason to wonder if Tebow might be passed over as the starter in the event of an injury to Mark Sanchez.

Greg McElroy and Matt Simms, who will see all the playing time at QB in the final exhibition Thursday night against Philadelphia, would provide more conventional options and probably would be considered more polished passers than Tebow. But when Jets coach Rex Ryan was asked what would happen in the worst-case scenario of a Sanchez injury, he anointed Tebow as heir to the throne.

“I think Tebow would expand his role,” Ryan said. “I think we feel good about what Tim can do. But we’d be confident in McElroy, I think, and then Simms is kind of a wild card. He’s a young man that really hasn’t been given a whole lot of opportunities, but the opportunities he does get, he’s been impressive.”

New York Sports