Mark Sanchez Benched for Greg McElroy After 3 INT vs. Cardinals

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIDecember 2, 2012

New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez continued to struggle in the team’s game against the Arizona Cardinals, and head coach Rex Ryan benched his starter in favor of Greg McElroy.

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen reported the change via Twitter. 

Sure looks like Sanchez has been benched. McElroy helmet on, warming. Sanchez helmet off, looking miserable.

— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) December 2, 2012

While rumors about Tim Tebow taking over for Sanchez have been relentless this season, the popular backup was inactive today due to a rib injury, as noted by the Associated Press (via Sporting News).

Sanchez was 10-of-21 for 97 yards when he was pulled from the game. He had thrown three interceptions and no touchdown passes, and the Jets were trailing 3-0 in the third quarter.

McElroy was a seventh-round draft pick in 2011 out of Alabama, and this is his first regular-season action in the NFL. 

The move will cause a flurry of further speculation about the quarterback situation in New York. Once Tebow is healthy again, there will surely be a media firestorm centered on the Jets.

Sanchez came into this game with a 55.4 completion percentage, 2,339 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. New York ranked 28th in the NFL in passing yardage and was 4-7 when they took the field. 

While the fourth-year signal-caller had been subpar this season, he was in the midst of an abnormally awful performance when he was finally removed from the game. 

The benching will have long-term effects on the team, as it will be difficult to go back to Sanchez as the full-time starter after giving up on him in this contest. 

It appears that Tebow time is not far away in New York.