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Jets announce that Greg McElroy will start vs. Chargers

Greg McElroy

New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy throws before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)


Mark Sanchez has been benched. Tim Tebow has been bypassed. Greg McElroy is the New York Jets’ starting quarterback.

McElroy, who has played in only one game in his NFL career, has been announced as the starter for the Jets on Sunday against the Chargers. Jets coach Rex Ryan made the decision after Sanchez had a disastrous four-interception game in a Monday night loss that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention.

Although Ryan has insisted all season that Tebow is the No. 2 quarterback and McElroy is No. 3, it’s telling that Ryan chose not to go to Tebow after benching Sanchez. Ryan apparently doesn’t think there’s any chance that Tebow has any future as the starting quarterback of the Jets, while McElroy could potentially emerge as the starter in 2013, if he plays well over the final two weeks of 2012.

One thing the Jets haven’t made clear is whether Sanchez has been demoted all the way down to No. 3 on the depth chart -- in which case he probably won’t even be active on Sunday -- or if he is still ahead of Tebow. Frankly, Ryan would probably be doing Sanchez a favor if he made him the inactive No. 3 on Sunday. The fans in New Jersey will be brutal toward Sanchez if they’re given the chance.

But no matter who’s No. 2, Ryan has decided that McElroy, who replaced Sanchez and led the Jets to a come-from-behind win over the Cardinals in his one and only regular-season appearance, is the new No. 1.