WITH INJURIES TO RUNNING BACKS BILAL POWELL AND JOE MCKNIGHT, REX RYAN HAS NOT RULED OUT PLAYING TIM TEBOW AT RUNNING BACK THIS WEEK.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — There’s a chance we could be seeing Mark Sanchez handing the ball off to Tim Tebow at Gillette Stadium this Sunday.
Back-up running backs Bilal Powell (dislocated shoulder) and Joe McKnight (high ankle sprain) have been held out of practice all week and will not practice on Thursday either, according to Rex Ryan. While he maintained that the two backs will not practice, he withheld any notion that either won’t be playing Sunday. Channeling his inner Bill Belichick, Ryan shared with the media that he has a thought on the status of his banged-up backs, but neglected sharing it.
Yes, it’s definitely Patriots Week at the Jets’ Atlantic Health facility.
If Powell and McKnight can’t go by Sunday the only true back-up running back the Jets have is undrafted rookie Jonathan Grimes, who signed with the team prior to the start of the season. Ryan acknowledged that Grimes will be active Sunday, but did not commit in saying he would be the team’s third-down back. The newly-acquired Lex Hilliard has been a great fill-in for the oft-injured John Conner — who was recently let go by way of injury settlement — but has not been asked to do much more than block on offense.
This is where Tebow comes in.
Ryan said “it’s a possibility” Tebow could be used in the running back role in select situations. but didn’t want to speak on contingency plans at the running back position.
“Playing quarterback he knows all the positions. So you can plug him at running back, you can plug him in at tight end. His skill set would be based more on power. He’s not going to be a blazer compared to other running backs, but he’s got power,” Ryan said of Tebow’s running qualities.
Think Toby Gerhart on the Minnesota Vikings — but more hulkish and less elusive.
Remember, Tebow playing running back is only a possibility — an option of utilizing a play-maker in a position where they need a player who knows the offense and who will be mistake-free. Regardless, just another wrinkle opposing teams have to prepare for and another reason to look forward to Sunday’s must-see match-up.
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