Tim Tebow: Intense Focus on QB's Injury Status Shows What's Wrong with Jets

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 22:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Jets during warm ups before the start of their game against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on November 22, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The New York Jets are 4-7. They are tied for last place in the AFC East, four games behind the New England Patriots. Their playoff hopes are hanging on by the weakest of threads.

Yet one of the main stories this week is the injury status of the backup quarterback.

It's just the latest example illustrating why the decision to bring in Tim Tebow was a major mistake. The Jets organization didn't need another distraction, and now it has one of the biggest football. It's easy to see why the team is struggling.

The team should be focused on getting better down the stretch and maybe taking a look at some young players to see what type of value they have heading into the offseason. Instead, it's spending time talking about a player who sees a couple of snaps per game.

Ed Werder of ESPN reported at 1:55 p.m. ET on Friday that sources were saying that Tebow was going to be inactive on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals due to a rib injury.

A source tells me that Jets coach Rex Ryan plans to make backup QB Tim Tebow inactive vs. Cardinals to allow fractured ribs to heal #jets

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) November 30, 2012

Barely an hour later, Jets head coach Rex Ryan had already replied to the report by saying that no decision has been made, according to Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. Ryan also said that he thinks Tebow can help the offense.

"Hey, that could be true," said Ryan of the report. "I haven’t made that decision or anybody else has made that decision. Whether there’s speculation or not, that’s a decision I haven’t made."

His answer should have been: Who cares? Our team has much bigger things to worry about than whether or not a player who has contributed 126 yards of offense this season will be available.

Part of the attention factor comes with a popular player playing in New York, which is understandable. But by continuing to put him on a pedestal and making him sound like a much larger piece of the puzzle than he has been, the Jets are adding to the mess.

It all goes back to the decision to trade for Tebow in the first place. The organization had to know that he would become a major distraction given Mark Sanchez's track record and Tebow's popularity. It was chaos waiting to happen.

Sure enough, Sanchez has failed to impress in his fourth season, the coaching staff has refused to make Tebow the starter, and now Ryan is giving rapid-fire responses to injury reports about his backup QB ahead of what amounts to a last-stand home game.

It just doesn't add up. No wonder why the Jets are battling for last place in the division.