Tim Tebow has played with a broken leg. A fractured collarbone, too.
He would ”love” to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. But, two cracked ribs kept the New York Jets backup quarterback on the sideline last week – and he isn’t sure if he’ll end up be back there again this weekend.
”I’m getting better every day,” Tebow said Wednesday. ”Slowly getting better. It’s good.”
Tebow was limited at practice and acknowledged that he didn’t do much throwing. He’s a left-handed tosser, and the broken ribs are on the left side of his torso. The injury is expected to limit him the rest of the week, leaving him as a possible game-time decision – as he was against New England last Thursday night.
”Pretty much whatever they asked me to do,” Tebow said of what he did at practice. ”Got a few reps here and there, so just taking it slowly.”
He did add, however, that although it ”might not feel the best,” he thinks he could ”manage” if he had to play today and take a hit from an opposing defensive player.
Coach Rex Ryan thinks Tebow will be cleared to play Sunday ”like he was last week.”
”We’ll see how he progresses through the week,” Ryan added before practice.
Tebow was injured at Seattle on Nov. 11, played three offensive snaps the following week at St. Louis. He was active but Ryan kept him on the sideline – to be used only in ”an emergency” – against New England after the quarterback convinced the coach he could play following a pregame evaluation.
Ryan has been criticized by some for keeping Tebow active rather than making third-stringer Greg McElroy available. Tebow reiterated that he would have been able to play against the Patriots if something had happened to starter Mark Sanchez.
”It was a big game and definitely something that I didn’t want to miss if needed to help the team,” Tebow said. ”I’m glad they got my input, but ultimately, it’s their decision.”
Tebow is not concerned about the nature of the injury making him less effective, but rather he’d be more worried about having a setback that would sideline him longer. That, he said, would be on the Jets’ medical staff to determine.
”They worry about it and make sure that it couldn’t get worse,” he said. ”That’s an option and they’ll do the smart thing for me.”
Tebow has been known to have a high tolerance for pain, as proven in high school, when he played through a broken leg and even scored on a 20-yard run. He wasn’t concerned then that continuing to play would threaten his long-term health.
”Not with that,” he said. ”It’s already broken. It’s just your fibula, and, go play. We were losing. That’s what I was worried about in that game.
He also played with a broken collarbone in Denver’s playoff loss to New England last season.
”It wasn’t fun,” Tebow said with a big smile.
Despite the fact he has had a very limited role in the Jets’ offense this season, daily updates on his ribs have become national news. And it hardly fazes Tebow.
”Most things right now tend to be that way,” he said, laughing.