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Tebow will be active for Jets, but no wildcat

Tebow will be active for Jets, but no wildcat

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Tim Tebow's days of running the New York Jets' wildcat-style offense appear over for now.

Rex Ryan said the backup quarterback, recovering from two broken ribs, will be active Monday night for the team's game at Tennessee, but will likely only play in the conventional offense if starter Mark Sanchez goes down with an injury. That means no wildcat or participating as the punt protector on special teams.

``I'd love to help this team in any way,'' Tebow said Thursday. ``Whether that's running, throwing (or) whatever I can do, however I can do it.''

Tebow has not played in the Jets' last three games after being hurt Nov. 11 at Seattle.

``I think he's improving,'' Ryan said. ``Improving to where you're going to run the powers and the counters and all that other stuff? I'm not sure about that.''

Tebow was limited at practice, as he has been in recent weeks.

``It's definitely getting better,'' Tebow said. ``Everything from running to exercising to throwing, it's all getting better. Slowly, but it's getting better.''

Ryan said tight end Dustin Keller (ankle), running back Bilal Powell (shoulder, broken toe), linebacker Bryan Thomas (strained pectoral), defensive back Aaron Berry (hamstring) and wide receivers Clyde Gates (concussion) and Stephen Hill (knee) all did not practice. Despite Powell's toe injury, Ryan thinks he'll be OK to play Monday night.

Newly re-acquired wide receiver Braylon Edwards was limited with a hamstring issue, but passed his physical with the Jets and Ryan expects him to play against the Titans.

Tebow has been medically cleared to play the last few weeks, but Ryan has chosen to keep him on the sideline rather than risk further injury. Tebow played three offensive snaps against St. Louis on Nov. 18, but the soreness in his ribs intensified after the game. X-rays revealed the fractures, but Tebow convinced Ryan he could play Thanksgiving night - after being cleared by team doctors - but never saw the field.

He was inactive against Arizona two weeks ago, with Greg McElroy serving as the backup to Sanchez - who he replaced in that game and led New York to a comeback victory. Ryan said it's possible third-stringer McElroy could also be active at Tennessee, but Tebow is still the No. 2 quarterback.

``I feel better about Tim in that role,'' Ryan said. ``I feel he gives us the best opportunity.''

Ryan said Tebow has not experienced any setbacks with his injury, and there isn't any cartilage damage or further complications.

``I'm more comfortable with him playing now, obviously, than I was a few weeks ago,'' Ryan said. ``I feel better about him playing with the way he's worked out on the practice field, we've increased his reps, and the day before the (Jaguars) game, he was throwing it pretty good.''

Tebow was expected to be a major part of the offense after being acquired from Denver in March, but he has had little more than a minor role in New York. Ryan clarified his comments from Monday when, during a radio interview, he said he would think Tebow is disappointed with his situation with the Jets.

``As far as his particular role, the wildcat and all those type of things, we haven't run it that much and obviously with the two broken ribs or cracked ribs, that's something that's got to be disappointing because you're not going to do that,'' Ryan said. ``That's how I feel. As a competitor, you want to win a ton of games, want to win all your games but we're 6-7, so I think that's disappointing for all of us. With his role, having the ribs these last few weeks, obviously his role has been diminished some. I don't think he's happy about that.''

Ryan quickly added that he believes Tebow is still happy to be a member of the Jets.

``I think he likes his teammates,'' Ryan said. ``I think he likes the people in the building and the way we take care of our players. You'll have to ask him, but I'm pretty sure he's happy with that.''

Tebow has been trying to take things in stride, even if things haven't worked out how he thought - for himself or the team.

``Sometimes, you have ups and downs, and you just try to deal with them the best you can,'' Tebow said. ``They're all learning opportunities, and when you believe everything happens for a reason, it makes it a whole lot easier. Honestly, you try to find the good in every situation.''

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

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Burakovsky will miss the first round, but Caps won't rule him out for remainder of the playoffs

Andre Burakovsky will be sidelined for the remainder of Washington's first-round series vs. Columbus, but he isn’t necessarily out for the remainder of the playoffs, Coach Barry Trotz said on Friday.

Burakovsky suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury in the Capitals' Game 2 overtime loss and has not been on the ice since.

Trotz said the 23-year-old top-six winger needs “minor” surgery.

That procedure, however, will not preclude Burakovsky from returning to the Caps’ lineup in subsequent rounds, should Washington advance.

“That's why I said minor surgery,” Trotz added, asked if Burky might return at a later date.

This latest surgery is the second for Burakovsky this season. In late October, he had a procedure to repair a broken left thumb and missed the next 20 games.

Since his departure in Game 2, Jakub Vrana and Chandler Stephenson have taken turns replacing Burakovsky on the second line with Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

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Bradley Beal on his struggles, getting an apology from Scott Brooks

Wizards head coach Scott Brooks remarked after Game 2 and following practice on Thursday that he was partly to blame for Bradley Beal's modest scoring output through two games in the team's playoff series against the Raptors. They weren't just throwaway lines, a coach trying to make his star player feel better for struggling in the playoffs.

No, Brooks truly meant what he said and followed up those comments with an apology face-to-face. Brooks met with Beal and John Wall in between Games 2 and 3 to see how they can get Beal going and reiterated that some of it all was on the coach.

"He apologized to me, which was weird because he's somebody who always holds me accountable for stuff," Beal said after Friday's shootaround. "I guess he figured I wasn't shooting the ball enough and he thought it was his fault. I don't know."

Beal, who is averaging 14.0 points in two games and scored only nine in Game 2, came away from the meeting with a good understanding of what he needs to do to get back on track. After apologizing, Brooks laid out a strategy in hopes that he, Wall and Beal can all be on the same page moving forward.

They need to get their All-Star shooting guard back to form on the offensive end.

"He just basically challenged me. He challenged me to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive end," Beal said.

What has made Beal's scoring troubles through two games particularly surprising is how well he played against the Raptors during the regular season. He averaged 28.8 points in four games against Toronto and all were without Wall.

Beal shot 50 percent against the Raptors both from the field and from three. So far this series he's shooting just 39.3 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from long range.

Asked whether there is anything he can draw from the regular season to apply to the playoffs, Beal said it's not as easy as it may seem.

"Those games are different. The matchups are different to an extent. It's totally different in the playoffs because you have more time to prep and prepare and gameplan for us," he said. 

"I think the biggest thing is them being physical. They are real physical with me. Whenever I'm standing around on offense or moving around, they are grabbing me. I just need to be physical back with them. Keep moving off the ball and especially if Kyle [Lowry] is guarding me. Tire him out as much as possible. Continue to be aggressive."

Coaches use all sorts of leadership tactics to motivate players. Perhaps an apology will do the trick.

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