FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Tim Tebow is heading home _ possibly as only a sideline spectator.
It will be a game-time decision as to whether the New York Jets’ backup quarterback plays in the team’s game in his hometown of Jacksonville against the Jaguars on Sunday.
“As far as Tim is concerned, we want to make sure,” coach Rex Ryan said Friday. “He’s done more this week in practice, quite a bit more. We want to see how he travels and what he feels like on game day.”
Tebow, healing from two broken ribs, will fly with the team Saturday and Ryan and the team doctors will determine before the game if he will play. He is listed as questionable after being limited in practice all week.
Tight end Dustin Keller will likely not play after being sidelined all week at practice with a sprained left ankle. He is listed as doubtful, while wide receiver Clyde Gates (concussion) is out. Rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill (knee) and nose tackle Sione Po’uha (lower back) are questionable after being limited Friday, while defensive tackle Damon Harrison is doubtful after not practicing a day after turning an ankle.
“It’s something you don’t really want to do,” Ryan said. “Sometimes at this time of year, you have so many nicks that you’re trying to find a guy to put in that spot. You’ll very rarely have three quarterbacks up in today’s game.”
McElroy, however, probably earned a chance to be active for the second time in his two-year career after taking over for a benched Sanchez against Arizona last Sunday and leading New York to the only touchdown of the game in a 7-6 victory.
“I want Mark and I want Tim to go out there and play fantastic, and I know they will,” said McElroy, who was 5 of 7 for 29 yards in his NFL debut. “That’s my goal this week, and that’s my role this week, to make sure those guys perform as best as they possibly can. The best way to do that is to try to visualize and try to have enough communication with those guys and let them know what the defense is doing.”
“Nothing really changed all that much,” McElroy said. “It’s been relatively similar for me throughout the course of the week.”
Tebow is a unique case because of the multiple roles he fills for the Jets, running their wildcat-style read-option packages and also playing on special teams as the personal punt protector. But, Ryan caught himself during his news conference Friday giving away that the Jets didn’t have any wildcat periods in practice this week.
“I don’t want to say that we don’t have any wildcat, so I kind of blew that there,” Ryan said, smiling. He then quickly joked: “But besides our two additional wildcat periods we had this week …”
Tebow was injured at Seattle on Nov. 11, and played three offensive snaps the following week at St. Louis. He was active but Ryan kept him on the sideline _ to be used only in “an emergency” _ against New England after the quarterback convinced the coach he could play following a pregame evaluation.