Who's the backup QB? Jets won't say

December, 5, 2012
12/05/12
1:15
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The controversy surrounding who would start for the Jets on Sunday in Jacksonville was put to rest Wednesday as head coach Rex Ryan named Mark Sanchez his No. 1 quarterback.

Now the attention shifts to who will be the backup in case the Jets have to bench the beleaguered Sanchez once again.

Because of the uncertainty about Tim Tebow's health, Ryan did not say Wednesday whether the team's No. 2 quarterback on Sunday will be Tebow or Greg McElroy. Tebow was inactive Sunday with his broken ribs, and McElroy replaced Sanchez in the second half and led the Jets to a 7-6 win over Arizona.

"I think we have to see what happens during the week with Tim," Ryan said. "I don't believe he's been healthy for what I think he should be.

"If that was my son, I would not want him playing and that's how I look at this. If he was completely healthy, then Tim would be our No. 2."

After serving as the backup quarterback for the first 11 games, Tebow was inactive for the first time last week. He had been active the previous week against New England, but did not play in the game due to his injuries as the team was only going to use him in an emergency situation.

With Tebow out against the Cardinals, McElroy was active for the first time and was inserted into the game due to Sanchez's struggles. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown to help the Jets to a comeback win.

Tebow said Wednesday that he's feeling better every day but recent x-rays showed there are still some fractures. He did a little more in practice Wednesday than he had been doing recently and said his throwing is getting closer to normal. He hopes to play Sunday but that decision is out of his hands.

"I think that's up to the trainers, doctors and coach, obviously, depending on how much I continue to heal (and) what the x-rays say," Tebow said.

Sunday will be a homecoming for Tebow, who grew up in Jacksonville and played at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The Jaguars will even be selling extra tickets to the game.

"It is definitely a lot of fun," Tebow said of playing in Jacksonville. "I have a lot of family and friends who will be there. Jacksonville will always be a special place to me. It's where I grew up and where a lot of my family still calls home."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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