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
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.