TWO Tebow BITS: injured ribs, Denver support

1 » The New York Jets imploded once again Thursday evening, and head coach Rex Ryan stuck to his guns and refused to make a quarterback change. In addition to not replacing Mark Sanchez with Tim Tebow, Ryan did not even play the former Heisman Trophy winner in Thursday’s game, though he apparently had a good reason for doing that. Tebow revealed after the contest that he fractured his ribs two weeks ago against Seattle and was not in the best shape to play. He had to “do a little bit of talking just to dress” on Thursday but “was ready to go” if the Jets needed him for any reason. “It was not ideal, but I just wanted to be there for my teammates and do whatever I can to help,” Tebow said. He did not know his ribs were broken until the middle of the week and played in last week’s game against St. Louis ignorant to that fact.

“As the week went on, it seemed to get progressively worse. He practices and things, but a couple of days ago, I noticed him and could tell he was hurt,” Ryan said. “His breathing was different. I was standing there and I was like, ‘I’m not going to play this kid.’ I wouldn’t play my son in that kind of situation.” New York could have listed Tebow as inactive and brought the third-string quarterback up but decided to have him on the sideline as he had practiced as the backup all week long. Tebow being deactivated is certainly possible for the team’s Dec. 2 game against Arizona, though it would certainly be surprising if he let that happen and did not convince his coaches to let him dress.

2 » Though his Jets teammates may have slammed him, anonymously, a week ago, Tebow received plenty of support from some of his former Denver Broncos teammates, who spoke with the Denver Post and offered up praise for the guy who helped turn their season around last year. “He was one of my all-time favorite teammates,” said future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey. “One of the best teammates I’ve ever hard. Just because of the way he handled everything. It’s not easy being him. Still not, obviously. He might not be able to stand back there and throw the ball like some, but he plays with a lot of heart. You can’t knock a guy who tries that hard and puts that much into it.” Bailey continued, “I’m not going to lie to you. He did rub off on people. He is an inspiring dude, and I think that’s why his fan base is so big. He’s passionate about everything he does.” Wide receiver Eric Decker agreed with Bailey’s position. “I respected the guy,” Decker said. “His passion for the game, what he did on Sundays – it wasn’t always the most conventional way, but it was a win. A lot of guys bought in and trusted more.”

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