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Ryan: Tebow might run wildcat, play special teams vs. Titans

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Associated Press
12/14/2012 12:24:27 PM
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Tim Tebow might not be done in the wildcat after all.

New York Jets coach Rex Ryan reversed his decision Friday, saying the backup quarterback could possibly participate in the wildcat-style offence and on special teams as the personal punt protector at Tennessee on Monday night. On Thursday, Ryan said Tebow would be the backup to Mark Sanchez, but only in the conventional offence.

"He moved around great," Ryan said of Tebow's practice performance Thursday. "This is the best he's looked in several weeks, so we'll see. There could be a chance he does the wildcat. He moved around that good that we may get him back in similar roles."

Tebow was expected to be limited in practice Friday, as he has been since breaking two ribs at Seattle on Nov. 11.

Of course, the sudden shift in thinking after one non-tackling practice could merely be an example of gamesmanship, trying to confuse the Titans. Tebow has not played in the last three games.

"I'm ready to do whatever I'm asked to do," Tebow said Thursday. "I'm excited about any role I have. I'm doing everything in practice, so it's really all I can do."

Ryan acknowledged Friday that it might be tough to truly determine how ready Tebow is for contact if he hasn't had any in nearly a month.

"There's no doubt, that's true, but looking at the way he's throwing the football and the way he's moving -- before, it was kind of like, you could almost tell he wasn't real sure. Now I can't see a visible difference from the start of the year to right now.

"If he continues to look like this and even improve, then maybe we can have him in a similar role."

Titans coach Mike Munchak thought New York-area reporters were joking with him when they told him on a conference call Thursday that Ryan said Tebow wouldn't play in the wildcat.

"I thought you were telling me I was a little unprepared for something," Munchak said. "I think it's obviously something we would prepare for anyways. I've seen teams do that. Anytime you show anything different that you're going to do, you want your players to be prepared for (it). ... Obviously, they haven't been using it that much in practice or in games, I should say. It hasn't shown up like maybe as much as people thought when they got Tebow, how much it would show up in games.

"We assumed even if they did some that, it wouldn't be a big part of the plan."

Ryan said tight end Dustin Keller (ankle), running back Bilal Powell (shoulder, toe), linebacker Bryan Thomas (strained pectoral), defensive back Aaron Berry (hamstring) and wide receivers Clyde Gates (concussion) and Stephen Hill (knee) all would not practice. Safety LaRon Landry also did not practice, but it was his regularly scheduled day off.

Ryan said X-rays on Powell's toe revealed no fractures, as Ryan previously thought, and the running back is expected to play Monday night.

Newly re-acquired wide receiver Braylon Edwards was "really limited" Thursday, Ryan said, and expected to be limited again and the Jets will consult with the team's trainers to determine his availability.

"We're hopeful he'll be able to go Monday," Ryan said.

Tim Tebow (Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
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