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Broncos not ready to test drive Tim Tebow, yet

Tim Tebow, Demorrio Williams

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) scores on a one-yard touchdown-run during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, in Denver. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Demorrio Williams (53) arrives too late to make a play. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)


As the Denver Broncos come to the realization that they won’t be winning the division or otherwise qualifying for a playoff berth in 2010, the question becomes whether rookie quarterback Tim Tebow will get a chance to show what he can do, on more than a cameo basis.

For now, coach Josh McDaniels has yet to cross that bridge.
I don’t know,” McDaniels said regarding whether Tebow will play once the Broncos are mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase, per Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. “Not willing to go there. That’s not the case right now, so we’ll think about that when that happens.”

McDaniels also was asked whether Tebow will be used in end-of-game situations, after the outcome has been decided.

“We haven’t had too many situations like that, but there’s a lot that could go into it,” McDaniels said. “I think each game is different. I think we’ve had the one game against Kansas City where you felt like there was a situation there, but there are some other things that played into that.

“We’re not adverse to doing that, we just haven’t had many opportunities to do that this year.”

Wait a second. The Broncos lost to the Raiders by 45 points. They were blown out by the Chargers. We realize that McDaniels would be inclined to point to the game in which the outcome was decided because the outcome was a victory for Denver, but the Broncos have had three clear opportunities to get Tebow some meaningful reps, and the Broncos have chosen not to do it.

So why haven’t they? It could be that the Broncos want to give starter Kyle Orton a chance to pile up as many passing yards as possible, since breaking Dan Marino’s single-season record would be a feather in McDaniels’ cap when the time comes to decide whether he’ll come back for 2011. (Orton currently is on pace for more than 4,800, and the record if 5,084.)

Then there’s the fact that the promise of Tebow will help McDaniels’ chances to return for another year. If Tebow plays now and he doesn’t play well, that specific angle would be undermined.

Either way, look for McDaniels to face more and more questions about whether and to what extent the brightest spot on a franchise with dimming chances will get a chance to show what he can do at the NFL level.