Even though he dressed and could have played if needed, two fractured ribs sidelined Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow for the Jets’ 49-19 loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving night.
It was a rough game for the Jets offense and Tebow, who has played sparingly this season, could well have featured in the second half of a game that was out of reach midway through the second quarter. But a rib injury suffered two weeks ago during a 28-7 loss in Seattle got progressively worse this week and kept Tebow standing on the sidelines.
“As the week went on, it seemed to get progressively worse. I wasn’t going to put him out there. He practiced and things and I was noticing that, man, you could tell he was hurt. It sounded like his breathing was a little different. I was standing there and I was like ‘Shoot, I’m not going to play this kid.’ I wouldn’t play my son if it was that kind of situation,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “To Tim’s credit, he wanted to be there for his team, there’s no doubt. If you left it up to him, he was going to play. I was like, ‘Look, if we absolutely have to have him to win a football game or whatever, then we may consider it.’ But to me, that was going to be the only way we were going to play Tim.”
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It was never a point of consideration as the Jets fell behind 35-0 in the second quarter. Oddly, given the situation with Tebow, third-string quarterback Greg McElroy was not active for the Jets.
“All through the week he had practiced as the backup quarterback,” Ryan said. “The thought did go through my mind to possibly deactivate [Tebow] but when he came out here he felt that if he had to go he could get it done. That was my decision.”
Tebow said he had difficulty getting dressed before the game.
“You try to do whatever you can for your team and sometimes there’s setbacks with that,” Tebow said. “[I felt the injury in] the St. Louis game a little bit and practice, but you just do what you can to keep moving forward.”
Despite falling behind early, it wasn’t an awful performance from Sanchez, who finished 26-of-36 for 301 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also had a second-quarter fumble that resulted in a New England touchdown.
As of right now, Ryan said there aren’t any plans for a change at quarterback.
“You play a game like this, it is hardly on one guy. Looking down here, 94 quarterback rating. I thought Mark threw the ball well,” Ryan said referring to his postgame notes. “Again, Mark will be the starting quarterback this week.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.