Sanchez gets starting nod again; McElroy out Sunday

THE JETS THREE-RING CIRCUS HAS A NEW RING LEADER FOR SUNDAY’S SEASON FINALE.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — The game of musical chairs continued for the Jets on Thursday and, yet again, Tim Tebow found himself on the outside looking in. Greg McElroy is being evaluated for a concussion and will be out for Sunday. Mark Sanchez, who was benched last week at home against San Diego, will get the starting nod in the season finale.

Rex Ryan said Thursday that “obviously, Tim wasn’t happy about it, as you’d expect”.

While lifting weights early Thursday morning, McElroy developed a headache. He approached head trainer John Mellody of the symptoms and both relayed the news to Ryan.

Rex Ryan gave the starting nod back to Mark Sanchez in Sunday's season finale after Greg McElroy's concussion. (JetsInsider.com Photo).

“I was stunned by it,” Ryan told reporters. “I admire his courage and everything else but you have to be truthful and that’s a lesson learned here with the medical staff. I understand the competitive side of Greg but the most important thing is the health of the players. I just feel fortunate something like this showed up without him going out there and putting himself in harm’s way.”

McElroy was expecting to start his second pro game after his first start came as a loss by the hands of the San Diego Chargers last week, who greeted the first-time starter with 11 sacks. He came off the bench to replace Sanchez Week 12 at home against Arizona, in which he led a stagnant Jets offense down the field for the eventual game-winning touchdown.

Sanchez is back in the starting role after being benched two weeks ago following his five turnover performance which thwarted any hopes of making the playoffs. On Wednesday, he said he has already learned valuable lessons out of his current situation and that he’ll be “ready to when he gets his next shot”.

His next shot may be sooner than most expected, however Ryan said his decision to go with Sanchez was two-fold: Sanchez’s past success against Buffalo and the lack of preparation time remaining before the game. The Jets have two practices remaining this week.

In six career games against Buffalo, Sanchez has a 5-1 record while enjoying some of his best statistics (87-158, 1060 yards, 11 TDs, 8 INTs, 55.1 completion %, 78.0 QB Rating).

Ryan sympathizes with Tebow’s tough predicament, saying he can “understand the frustration of not getting to play as much as I’m sure he’d have liked”. Last week, it was reported Tebow was sour about being passed over for McElroy in last week’s game and allegedly gave Ryan the ultimatum of “play me as a real quarterback or don’t play me”. Tebow did not play.

He defended his character on Wednesday saying the report was untrue as Joseph Sudberg reported yesterday.

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