Tim Tebow's Underwhelming Preseason Casts Major Doubt on Roster Chances

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 16:  Tim Tebow #5 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on August 16, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Stop the presses—Tim Tebow has fallen out of favor on a NFL team. 

The New England Patriots opted not to feature Tebow in their preseason game Thursday night against the Detroit Lions, which the Pats lost, 40-9. 

And after looking at his successes—or lack thereof—since joining the organization and his recent track record, Tebow fans should be incredibly concerned about his chances of making the 53-man roster heading into the regular season.

One word can describe Tebow's performances this preseason: underwhelming. In two games, he's completed just 5-of-19 passes for 54 yards and one interception.

His second performance of the preseason took it to a whole new low, completing just 1-of-7 passes for a one-yard loss and an interception.

Simply put, he made Mark Sanchez look like Johnny Unitas. 

His struggles certainly resonated with head coach Bill Belichick and his staff, as the third and final quarterback on the roster was passed over. Second-string gunslinger Ryan Mallett played all of the second half.

If Mallett happened to be rolling late in the game, keeping him in wouldn't have been as surprising. But the Pats turned the ball over four times in the contest and didn't make it into the end zone until the final possession.

Why wouldn't a sputtering offense give their third-string quarterback some reps late in a game? According to David Cassilo of USA Today, Belichick's answer was pretty simple:

Bill Belichick was his regular tight-lipped self about leaving Tebow on the sidelines, saying he didn't enter the game "because we played two quarterbacks.

Typical Belichick fashion? Yes. Concerning regarding Tebow's chances of making the team? Certainly.

Now, Tebow still has a solid chance of staying on the roster past August 27—when teams must cut their rosters to 75 men, per Cassilo. 

If he makes it past the first cut, his final opportunity to woo Patriots coaches will come on August 29, when New England finishes off the preseason against the New York Giants, per Cassilo.

But even then, it will be tough for Tebow to prove he's more than just a one-dimensional signal-Scaller with lousy mechanics. 

The best chance of Tebow making the final roster was by way of a position switch, possibly to the much-needed tight end position, lining up in the backfield or even special teams work. But, per Cassilo, he's remained solely at the quarterback spot. 

If we saw Tebow earning time at some other positions here and there, it'd greatly improve his chances. Without seeing that, it's apparent that 

Perhaps the only positive Tebow has going for him is that he's one of three quarterbacks on the roster. That seems to be the standard for most 53-man rosters in the NFL. 

But typically when a quarterback of Tom Brady's caliber and dependability is one of those guys, teams forgo their third quarterback spot to bolster a position of need. 

Tebow better hope that he's done enough to prove his worth for this Patriots team, because if not, his days on an active NFL roster are quickly coming to an end.