Wizards

Jets backup QB Tebow could be inactive vs. Cards

201211261248461378086-p2.jpeg

Jets backup QB Tebow could be inactive vs. Cards

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) It appears Tim Tebow will be watching from the sideline again.

And this time, the New York Jets backup quarterback might be in sweats instead of his uniform.

Tebow was listed as questionable for the Jets' game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals because of two broken ribs that limited him all week. Coach Rex Ryan wouldn't officially rule out Tebow, but it sounded unlikely he would play.

``We're looking into it,'' Ryan said Friday. ``He's been limited, really very limited in some of the snaps. He does take a few offensive snaps, but we're just tracking it. We'll see how he feels.

``Could it be a game-time decision? It could be.''

Tebow was injured at Seattle on Nov. 11, played three offensive snaps the following week at St. Louis and was active but didn't play Thanksgiving night against New England. Tebow spent most of the 49-19 blowout loss standing on the sideline with a cap on and his hands in his pockets while Mark Sanchez played the entire game. Ryan said Tebow could have played, but the coach planned to put him in only in ``an emergency.''

Ryan disputed an ESPN report Friday that said he had already made plans to keep Tebow inactive.

``It could be true, but right now, we haven't done anything,'' Ryan said. ``I haven't made that decision or anyone else made that decision. Whether there's speculation or not, that's a decision that I haven't made.''

Wide receiver Clyde Gates (concussion) was listed as doubtful for the game, while cornerback Aaron Berry (quadriceps), nose tackle Sione Po'uha (back) and linebacker Ricky Sapp (ankle) joined Tebow as questionable.

Third-stringer Greg McElroy would be the backup to Sanchez if Tebow is not active. Ryan insisted that players have been active and participated in games with broken ribs, and he will evaluate the situation leading up to kickoff. Tebow would wear heavy protection around his rib area if he does play.

Tebow said he didn't do much during practice all week, and throwing still bothers his ribs - he's a left-handed passer and the injury is on his left side. Despite Tebow being cleared by the team doctors to play, Ryan was criticized last week for keeping him active rather than McElroy.

``I feel like I'm getting a little bit better every day,'' Tebow said. ``Obviously, I'd love to be out there doing everything, but they're trying to be smart, so just slowly progressing with things every day. It'll be up to coach and the docs.''

Part of the decision involves Tebow's role, in that he has only thrown seven passes all season and he is used mostly in wildcat-style packages on offense and as the punt protector on special teams. So, not being able to throw wouldn't necessarily rule Tebow out from playing.

``You're not going out there and asking him to throw it 50 times a game,'' Ryan said. ``If that was the case, I'm not sure he could do that.''

McElroy, a seventh-round pick last year out of Alabama, missed last season with a thumb injury and has been inactive every week so far this year.

``I'm sure it'll be similar to last week where it'll be a decision that's made on game day and just before the game,'' McElroy said. ``But if Tim's feeling healthy and ready to go, then he'll be the guy.''

Tebow insisted that the pain hasn't made him pessimistic about his chances about playing, but did say that the matchup with the Cardinals is ``absolutely'' a must-win if the Jets plan to keep their playoff chances alive. He added that he's used to playing football through injuries and pain.

``It's probably a little bit in my nature,'' he said. ``At the same time, you try to be smart and listen to wise counsel, but I guess sometimes that can be something I'm not the best at.''

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Pre-draft workouts begin; Michigan's Moe Wagner goes 1-on-1

usatsi_10761432.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards Tipoff podcast: Pre-draft workouts begin; Michigan's Moe Wagner goes 1-on-1

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Michigan star Moe Wagner after his workout with the Wizards.

Chris and Chase Hughes also gave their impressions of the first prospects to come in for pre-draft workouts, including which guys are most likely to be Wizards. One of those prospects is a point guard and a likely first round pick. Chase and Chris explain why that's not a crazy idea, even considering the presence of John Wall on their roster.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

Quick Links

Redskins still absorbing rule changes involving kickoffs, contact with helmet

hopkins_kickoff_ap.png
Associated Press

Redskins still absorbing rule changes involving kickoffs, contact with helmet

The NFL has passed two major on-field rule changes in the last two months. One, the rule that prohibits players from lowering their helmets to initiate contact with another player. That one passed during the spring meetings in March but it was just recently clarified. The other one changes how kickoffs are executed. 

Both rules, designed to make the game safer for the players, could have a major impact on the game. And the Redskins are still a little unclear about how to handle them. 

Safety D.J. Swearinger is one of the Redskins’ hardest hitters. After saying that the helmet-lowering rule, which is outlined in some detail in this video from the NFL, would not affect him because he hits low, he wondered why he was even wearing a hard hat at work. 

“I’ve got a helmet on, but I can’t use it or hit nobody with it, might as well take the helmet off if you ask me,” said Swearinger following the Redskins’ OTA practice on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, coach Jay Gruden had not yet been filled in on the details of the helmet-lowering rule. He said that the team will sort it out over the three and a half months between now and the start of the regular season. 

“The lowering of the helmet, I don’t know which ones they decided to go with, so we’ll see,” he said. “I know there’s been a lot of talk about bull rushes and they’re trying to obviously protect the players, but we’ve just got to be careful.”

Gruden said that special teams coach Ben Kotwica went to meetings to help hash out the kickoff rule. What they ended up with looks a lot like another special teams play according to the player who will be executing the kickoffs. 

“It looks like they’re trying to make it more like a punt,” said kicker Dustin Hopkins. Among the similarities are that the kicking team will not be able to get a running start as the kicker approaches the ball. They will have to be stationary a yard away from the line where the ball is until it is kicked. 

The league probably will be happy if the play does more closely resemble a punt. The injury rate on punt plays is much lower than it is on kickoffs. 

Some believe that this change will lead to longer kickoff returns. Gruden didn’t disagree, but he said that he needs more information. 

“I think without the guys getting a running start, number one, it could be,” he said. “I think it’s just something I have to see it before I can really make any judgments on it.”

The new rule prohibits wedge blocking meaning that you are unlikely to see any offensive linemen on kickoffs as they were used primarily to create or break wedges. 

“I think for the most part, you’re going to see more speed guys,” said Gruden.

The Redskins will start to wrap their heads around the new rule during the next three weeks, when they have their final two weeks of OTAs and then minicamp before the break for training camp. Gruden said that they will continue to work on it in Richmond. He said that the joint practices with the Jets and the four preseason game will be important for sorting out just how the team will implement kickoffs. 

The best way to handle it might be to just let Hopkins pound the ball into the end zone every time. Last year 72.5 percent of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. He could have had more touchbacks, but he occasionally was told to kick it high to force a return with the hope of getting better field position. But if the rules lead to longer returns it may not be worth the risk. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- OTAs: Practice report: Smith sharp
- Injuries: Kouandjio out for the season

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.