- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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DETROIT -- New England Patriots third-string quarterback Tim Tebow didn't play in the team's 40-9 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thursday night, creating uncertainty about his chances to earn a roster spot.
Lions fans chanted "Tebow! Tebow! Tebow!" with about 10 minutes left in the game, and later booed when Patriots coach Bill Belichick stuck with No. 2 quarterback Ryan Mallett.
Starting quarterback Tom Brady played the entire first half, while Mallett stayed on for the second half.
"You prepare yourself and be ready for whenever your number is called. There's nothing else to it," Tebow said after the game.
Belichick didn't go into detail about why the Patriots played just two quarterbacks, which leaves Tebow one final chance to lock up a roster spot -- the preseason finale Aug. 29 against the visiting New York Giants. That assumes Tebow is still with the club past Tuesday, when teams must trim their rosters to 75 players. The Patriots currently have 84 players.
Tebow said he would approach that cutdown day, and then the Aug. 31 cutdown to 53 players, just like any other day.
"You just prepare, and whatever you're asked to do, you do at 100 percent, with everything you have," he said. "You want everything to go well, but it's not. There are going to be ups and downs. That's what life is, and you just have to handle them as best as you possibly can."
Asked if he was frustrated at not having a chance to play, Tebow called himself a "blessed individual" and spoke of how happy he was to be with the Patriots. As for possibly playing another position, potentially to increase his value, he said, "I'm just doing what they tell me."
Tebow said he blocked out the chants from Lions fans.
"You try not to pay attention [to the crowd] and focus on the plays, and learning, and what they're doing," he said. "You try to get a rep every single time. You might not be on the field, but you can still get a rep."