MEYER: If medically cleared, Tim Tebow will play

By Adam Silverstein
October 10, 2009

Speaking to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi moments ago on a report on College GameDay, No. 1 Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer was asked point-blank what decision he would make should doctors medically clear quarterback Tim Tebow to play in Saturday night’s game against No. 4 LSU Tigers.

“If Tim is ready to play, cleared to play, we’re going to play him,” Meyer said.

The University of Florida has a team of doctors in Baton Rouge, LA, who will put Tebow through a number of tests this afternoon before making a decision one way or another. A public announcement will not be made prior to 5 p.m. (EST) and most likely won’t be until closer to game time.

“I will be shocked if Tim Tebow does not play in this game tonight, and if he does not play well,” analyst Kirk Herbstreit said.

Should Tebow play, it is suggested he “not forsake his wrecking-ball running style for fear of concussions,” according to Pat Forde of ESPN who spoke with both ESPN analyst Merill Hoge and Bob Tebow, Tim’s father. “Being aggressive is safer than being passive,” Hoge said. “You’re more likely to get injured when you’re passive.”

“As the doctor explained to me, if he’s running and he braces for a hit, there’s less chance of being injured because he knows it’s coming and he’s braced for it,” Bob Tebow said. “It’s when you don’t see it and you’re not braced for it, that’s when you can get a concussion.”

There is one significant fact about concussions that is the sole decision-maker for me on this issue. As I told Newsday yesterday, once an athlete is fully recovered from a concussion, the risk is not different whether they return in 10 days, two weeks, six months or a year. The risk is not increased or decreased based on time. So as long as Tebow remains asymptomatic up until kickoff, I would put my money on him playing tonight in Death Valley.

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