With running backs Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight unable to practice for a second straight day, the Jets’ running game could get a boost from none other than Tim Tebow — just not in his traditional role under center.
Tebow could add another duty to his resume this Sunday as a running back. Since Powell and McKnight represent the Jets’ second and third running backs on their depth chart, they desperately could use depth at the position.
“That’s a possibility. The thing about Tim, with him being a football player like we’ve talked about, by playing quarterback he knows all the positions,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “Can you plug him in at running back? Can you plug him in at tight end? I think the answer is yes.”
Ryan also sees Tebow — often panned for his throwing mechanics but praised for his athletic abilities — as someone who could transition to running back if need be.
“I think you start with a skill set, but I think his skill set would be more based on power,” Ryan said. “I think he’s not going to be a blazer compared to other running backs but he has power.”
Through the season’s first six games, Tebow has 18 rushes for 64 yards, all of which came either as the Wildcat quarterback or in a trick play as the personal punt protector.
Chiming in earlier this week, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick alluded to just what Ryan suggested Thursday.
“He carries the ball quite a bit so to some degree he’s a running back,” Belichick said.
It may be the first and last time Ryan and Belichick agree on something.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.