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Are the Jets and Ryan setting the stage for a Tebow start?

MARCUS HENRY Special to the AmNews | 12/3/2012, 1:58 p.m.
It's pretty amazing, isn't it? How one little crack in a foundation can fester into...
Are the Jets and Ryan setting the stage for a Tebow start?

It's pretty amazing, isn't it? How one little crack in a foundation can fester into an enormous, gaping abyss of madness? That's exactly what's happening with the Jets. The Tim Tebow fiasco reached new heights last week when it was discovered that the backup quarterback was left on the active roster despite two fractured ribs.

Considering how little Tebow is used on offense, you have to wonder why Rex Ryan and his coaching staff didn't use the opportunity to bench him in favor of third-string quarterback Greg McElroy in last Thursday's 49-19 debacle against the Patriots. Ryan has stressed all season that Tebow's lack of use has to do with the opponent and the game situation, not as a message to Jets owner Woody Johnson or anyone else in upper management. Ryan and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum continue to reiterate the point that Johnson didn't force them to trade for Tebow. If that's the case, why wasn't McElroy activated last week?

"I think people have played with cracked ribs. Guys have played, and it was told to me that [Tebow] could play," said Ryan. "But I wasn't going to play him unless it was an absolute emergency and that was when I would play him."

You could buy that explanation if Tebow played even a little bit, but he didn't. Tebow wasn't even used on special teams. How has this situation eclipsed into a giant headache for the entire team? Several players have expressed their disdain for Tebow, while others have privately criticized Mark Sanchez.

Ryan's reluctance to pull Sanchez for Tebow has left one portion of the locker room satisfied with another part of the clubhouse upset. It has also left the organization somewhat divided. The Jets gave up several draft picks to acquire Tebow. You can imagine there is someone among the higher-ups who wants a return on that investment.

The saga will continue on Sunday when the last-place Jets (4-7) host the Arizona Cardinals. Will Tebow or McElroy be a part of the team's plans Sunday?

"We'll see how the week progresses," was Ryan's response. That sounds like code for Tebow will play.