While Tim Tebow's status remains in question for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, it's become readily apparent what the New York Jets should do with their controversial quarterback: sit him out in Week 13 and the remainder of the season, using injury as an excuse.
Tebow is currently listed as questionable for Sunday due to broken ribs he suffered in Week 11's victory against the St. Louis Rams. Though head coach Rex Ryan left open the possibility that Tebow will play, it seems less likely by the minute that the former Florida star will suit up this week.
“We’re looking into it,” Ryan said Friday (per The Washington Post). “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."
On the surface, this should be a relatively short-term injury. If he's able to take some snaps this week, Tebow will be able to take more next week and may be healthy enough to play the remainder of the season.
This isn't about health. It's about eradicating a distraction that has overtaken the Jets and turned them into the biggest 4-7 circus in recent memory.
Before the stable of Tebow supporters start getting out their typewriters and pounding out strongly worded missives in my direction, I don't mean this as a degradation of the Jets quarterback. It's long been my stance that Ryan should have pulled Mark Sanchez for Tebow weeks ago, and failing to do so has only exacerbated the team's problems.
But we're at the point of no return here. There are almost no circumstances in which the Tebow saga can have a happy ending. Teammates have already ripped him to shreds in the media, and Ryan has stuck with Sanchez so long that it's obvious he has no faith in Tebow's ability to start.
Tebow, likely along with much of the current Jets roster and coaching staff, is almost certainly gone this offseason. Whether he heads to Jacksonville, fulfilling his "destiny" as the savior of the franchise, or pushes his way to another big city, New York be in the end a one-year stop.
Perhaps, in some ways, it was preordained to end like this. Ryan thought that he could control the insatiable media taste for Tebowmania, that his players-first shtick and great relationship with the New York media would be able enough to drown out the Skip Baylesses of the world.
More than anything, Ryan thought his team would win. That hasn't happened, leaving the untenable situation to hang over the Jets and cause discord throughout the organization.
And unless the team deactivates Tebow, the distractions will not stop. His supporters still have undying faith, spurred by the fact that Tebow never got a "fair shake" at the starting job.
Fair point. Ryan just seemingly has no plans on changing that fact anytime soon.
With the young quarterback's rib injury simply setting up a convenient excuse, it's best for both sides to prematurely end the experiment. We're already seeing a similar situation with the Eagles, where Michael Vick reportedly believes the team is using his concussion as an excuse to start Nick Foles.
Ryan can make a similar move without it being nearly as sinister. Tebow was already the backup and had been limited to just Wildcat snaps on offense. The Jets coaching staff can use the ribs as an excuse to take Tebow off special teams, saying they don't want him to re-aggravate the ailment.
Most importantly, it would allow both sides peace of mind and to move on with their lives. At this point, that may be the happiest ending possible for Tebowmania's takeover of the Big Apple.