Tim Tebow stands next to head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets late in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots on November 22, 2012 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New England Patriots defeated the New York Jets 49-19.(Photo: Elsa, Getty Images)
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan revealed during a conference call on
Friday he didn't know quarterback Tim Tebow had two fractured ribs until
Wednesday of this week, 10 days after Tebow claims he initially
suffered the injury in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Tebow was dressed for Thursday night's blowout loss to the New England Patriots but did not play a snap.
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was told the day before about his cracked ribs and literally I saw him,
but that was when I found out about him having the cracked ribs," Ryan
told reporters one day after the Jets dropped to 4-7 thanks to a 49-19
pounding from their divisional rivals. "I don't know the exact specifics
of it. I'm not sure what showed the cracked ribs. I'm not sure, guys.
When I found out and I was talking to Tim, and he said he had sore ribs,
I don't think he knew."
added, "It was never told to me that he couldn't play. In fact, it was
just the opposite. It was me saying, 'No, we're not going to play him
unless we absolutely have to.' Again, it was something I went in and
absolutely said, 'Listen, I don't want you to play him.' I told that to
(special teams coach Mike) Westhoff, I told that to (offensive
coordinator) Tony (Sparano). I did not feel comfortable, and that's the
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So that leads right up to the next question: Why was Tebow
in uniform? Why not third quarterback Greg McElroy instead. If Tebow
wasn't going into the game unless it was - and this is Ryan's word - an
"emergency," why wasn't he deactivated?
Ryan replied by saying
Tebow "absolutely 100 percent could have played in that game," and that
he would've been comfortable sending Tebow in there had starter Mark
Sanchez been forced to leave the game after banging his head following
his collision with guard Brandon Moore's butt on one of the
worst-looking fumbles of all time.
"My understanding is guys have
played with this injury and, regardless of the position, guys have
played through cracked ribs and things," Ryan said. "I'm not a doctor or
whatever but he was cleared to play. Let's make sure we understand
that, that he was cleared to play."
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Ryan said whether Tebow is active for the Jets' game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 2 has yet to be determined.
the meantime, Sanchez remains the starter after going 26-for-36 for 301
yards, a garbage-time touchdown and a costly interception as the Jets
were driving during a scoreless first quarter.
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"I believe in
Mark," Ryan said. "I definitely believe in Mark, and I've always said I
think he gives us the best opportunity to win. And that's how I feel."
also believes in his team's ability to somehow turn this thing around
soon and, while the playoffs seem like only a dream, he hopes to get
some momentum going through the season's final month.
That might determine how much house-cleaning owner Woody Johnson does before the 2013 season.
responsible for everything. I'm responsible for the 4-7 record, I'm
responsible for how we play," Ryan said. "But I will say this: I'll also
be responsible for how we finish and I am confident we'll finish."