Updated, 5:40 p.m. ET
Is the Jets’ version of the Wildcat dead? Well, maybe it’s only catnapping.
But Rex Ryan indicated today that Tim Tebow’s situation with the Jets at this moment is, well, complicated.
The Jets head coach was asked if Tebow, with his cracked ribs, could return to his role as personal punt protector as soon as Monday night at Tennessee.
“I don’t really see him in that role,” said Ryan, who then immediately jumped to Tebow’s role on offense. “As far as the Wildcat, obviously with the ribs the way they are, that’s a role, hopefully, that once we get the OK with those ribs, we probably expand that. But it’s not necessarily going to be a big part of our game plan. I think he’s improving, but improving to where you’re going to run the powers and the counters, I’m not sure about that.”
Yet Ryan acknowledged that Tebow has been cleared by the Jets’ medical staff and there is nothing else wrong with him, and so he continues in his role as the first in behind Mark Sanchez.
“He can be the backup quarterback and run some base things,” the coach said, adding about the ‘Cat, “There’s always a chance you can put him in that role.”
Rex also said that Greg McElroy continues in the third QB role and could be active vs. the Titans. But as he explained last week after Joe McKnight’s pregame migraines rippled through the roster and forced Ryan to keep an extra RB (Kahlil Bell) up just in case and to deactivate McElroy, “Each week is different.”
“Obviously, Tim’s had many more reps and I’m just more comfortable with Tim,” Ryan said about his choice of No. 2 QB for now. “I like Greg. I think Greg has improved a ton since his rookie year. I’ve always liked him, but I felt his arm strength had to improve to play at this level and I think he’s done that. I think his arm is getting better. I’m excited about Greg, I am. The fact that I have Tim over him doesn’t mean that I don’t like Greg as an option at quarterback. I like Greg.”
The new flurry of Tebow/McElroy/WC/PP questions were spurred in part by Ryan’s interview on ESPN New York 98.7 FM the day after the Jaguars game in which he said Tebow being disappointed about this season “is probably a fair statement.” But both Ryan and then Tebow today elaborated on the “duality of disappointment” or some similar psychological theory in which a player can be happy to be a Jet but underwhelmed about how being a Jet has gone so far.
“I think you take everything in stride and you try to handle everything the best you can,” Tebow said in front of his locker this afternoon. “Obviously, it hasn’t gone exactly how we wanted, starting off the year with wins and everything as a team. Sometimes you have ups and downs and you just try to deal with them as best you can. They’re all learning opportunities, and when you believe everything happens for a reason, it makes it a whole lot easier.”
As for what this means for the Jets’ QB and Wildcat depth chart at Tennessee, your guess is as good as ours. It sounds as if Tebow may or may not play, McElroy may or may not be active, the Wildcat may or may not be implemented. The Titans simply need to be ready for every contingency.
Wednesday I-Reports/Special Thursday Edition
Updating Ryan’s pre-practice list with the official list submitted after 4 p.m., the Jets list 21 players on today’s first injury report of the week. Six did not practice today at the Atlantic Health Training Center, topped by RB Bilal Powell, who came off his career game at Jacksonville with a possible toe fracture to go along with his rehabbing shoulder. But Ryan said, “We think he’ll be all right, though,” for Monday night.
Also DNP: TE Dustin Keller (ankle), WR Stephen Hill (knee), CB Aaron Berry (hamstring) and WR Clyde Gates (concussion), LB Bryan Thomas (chest).
Two limited players were newly re-arrived WR Braylon Edwards (hamstring) and NT Sione Po‘uha (low back).
Thirteen Jets were listed but full-go, all of them holdovers from last week’s list. No longer on the list this week are DT Mike DeVito, FB Lex Hilliard, WR Jeremy Kerley (who had been on the list the previous five weeks with either a heel, a hamstring or both) and WR Chaz Schilens. The Jets’ full, updated I-report can be found here.
As for the Tennessee I-report that just came in, four players did not practice today, topped by RB Chris Johnson (ankle). WR Damian Williams (hamstring), DE Scott Solomon (knee) and LB Colin McCarthy (concussion) also were DNPs. The rest of the TT report: Limited — DT Jurrell Casey (knee), T Michael Roos (knee). Full — WR Kenny Britt (knee), CB Michael Griffin (neck), QB Jake Locker (left shoulder), DE Kamerion Wimbley (toe).
Tags: Bilal Powell, Greg McElroy, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Tennessee Titans, Tim Tebow
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