New York Jets coach Rex Ryan said he hasn’t decided who will start at quarterback against the Jacksonville Jaguars after benching Mark Sanchez in a win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Ryan said today at a news conference that he might make a decision by tomorrow night on who will start the Dec. 9 game at Jacksonville, Florida.
“I definitely need a little more time,” Ryan said. “I’m comfortable and confident with all three quarterbacks. All three guys have proven they can win in this league.”
Sanchez was replaced in the third quarter yesterday by Greg McElroy, who led the team to a touchdown in his first National Football League drive as the Jets won 7-6.
With regular second-string quarterback Tim Tebow sidelined with cracked ribs, McElroy was 5-of-7 passing for 29 yards and a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Cumberland at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Sanchez, who has started since his rookie season in 2009, completed 10 of 21 pass attempts for 97 yards against Arizona, throwing three interceptions before being benched.
McElroy, a 24-year-old who was picked by the Jets out of the University of Alabama in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, made his NFL debut yesterday. The team’s 10-play, 69-yard scoring drive came on his first possession.
“I just thought that at the time it was the right move,” Ryan said. “Sometimes you have better days than others. It’s just something I felt needed to be done and gave our team the best opportunity to win and that’s why I made that move.”
The 26-year-old Sanchez has completed 55 percent of his passes this season, throwing for 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His 2,436 yards passing ranks 22nd in the league of 32 franchises.
Tebow has been Sanchez’s backup and been used in the Jets’ wildcat offense, rushing for 87 yards on 29 carries. He’s also completed six of seven pass attempts.
The 25-year-old Tebow was traded to the Jets in March after leading the Denver Broncos to a playoff appearance last season.
Tebow, who cracked his ribs in a Nov. 11 loss at the Seattle Seahawks, was medically cleared to play yesterday but not activated because he wasn’t 100 percent ready, Ryan said.
The Jets are 5-7 and probably need to win their remaining four games to have a shot at a playoff berth. The New England Patriots (9-3) clinched the American Football Conference East Division title yesterday.