Tebow: I want to play on Sunday

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
7:04
PM ET
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow would love to play Sunday against Arizona -- despite his broken ribs -- but he acknowledged the final call is out of his hands.

Tebow has dealt with his rib injuries for several weeks but said they're getting better.

"That's going to be up to [the coaching and training staffs], but hopefully I will [play]," Tebow said.

Jets coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday he believes Tebow will be cleared to play Sunday, but he wants to see how the quarterback progresses throughout the week. Tebow had a limited practice Wednesday.

Even if Tebow is active against the Arizona Cardinals, there's the question of his productivity. A source told ESPNNewYork.com that Tebow had just one snap in practice Wednesday, while third-string quarterback Greg McElroy received more work than usual.

Tebow is confident he'd be able to perform if called upon.

"I think if the doctors and trainers evaluate me and that's something they feel is fit for me to go and everything, then you would definitely believe in your abilities for sure," Tebow said.

Although he's not used in the passing game very often, Tebow said it still sometimes hurts him to throw. He trusts in the training staff to make sure he's ready to play on Sunday, including being tackled, and he wants to make sure playing won't worsen his condition. He added he doesn't worry about being ineffective when he tries to play.

"You just worry about the setbacks and having to continue. Then it just takes longer to heal," Tebow said. "That's the only frustration."

Tebow's ribs became a national story following Thursday's 49-19 loss to New England. Tebow was active for the game but didn't play, and Ryan said he hadn't planned to play Tebow unless he absolutely had to. Tebow received medical clearance to play, and the quarterback also was able to convince Ryan he could go, leading to the team making McElroy inactive.

If Sanchez had been injured against the Patriots, Tebow said he would have been able to get through the game. He appreciated that Ryan allowed him to have some say in whether or not he was active, and that Ryan looked out for him by keeping him out of the game since he wasn't needed.

"[I'm] just focused on helping the team," said Tebow, who played with a broken leg in high school, as well as a broken collarbone last year vs. New England. "You believe in yourself that you can help the team and that was my mindset [against New England]."

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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