|Mark Sanchez (left) and Tim Tebow congratulate fellow QB Greg McElroy after he rallied the Jets over Arizona. (US Presswire)|
He replaces Mark Sanchez, who struggled through the first 14 games of 2012 with just 13 touchdowns against 17 interceptions -- four of which he threw in Monday night's loss to the Titans. That loss eliminated the Jets (6-8) from playoff contention.
Coach Rex Ryan called the loss, “heartbreaking.”
Only Colts rookie QB Andrew Luck has thrown more interceptions (18), but he has 20 touchdowns. In Sanchez's first four years, including the first 14 games of 2012, he has 68 touchdowns and 68 interceptions.
McElroy, in his second year, appeared in one game this season. He played in the third quarter against the Cardinals after Sanchez threw three interceptions. McElroy rallied the Jets to a 7-6 win over Arizona.
McElroy, who was on injured reserve in 2011 following thumb surgery, will start the first game of his NFL career with a home game against the Chargers (5-9) on Sunday.
Although McElroy will start this week, the future of the QB trio is uncertain -- especially the role of Tim Tebow.
When the Jets traded for Tebow in March there was much speculation about what role he would play. Tebow won the Heisman Trophy after leading Florida to a BCS Championship had took the Denver Broncos on an improbable run to the 2011 playoffs.
The Jets designated Tebow as their wildcat quarterback, but the role hasn't been used with much impact. He also missed three weeks with broken ribs. Tebow has rushed 32 times for 102 yards and thrown eight passes for 39 yards. He was in for one series Monday, going 0 for 1 and running three times for 15 yards.
Ryan didn't go into detail about why he decided to start McElroy. He would only say, “Where the team is now, I think it's best for our team and this game.
“I want to put Greg out there (and) I'm going to put Greg out there.”
Ryan said that McElroy would be the designated starter for this week only and he would make a decision about the final game of the season against the Bills after assessing what happens against the Chargers.
He also wouldn't specify who would be McElroy's backup, or if all three quarterbacks might be active. “I'm not sure right now,” Ryan said. “As the week goes on I'll make that determination. I'm not ready to do that right now.”
|The home of the Super Bowl|
Ryan said that he informed Sanchez of the decision to bench him sometime after the game Monday night. He didn't finalize his decision about McElroy until Tuesday. Although Ryan said that he did discuss it with a few people he said repeatedly, that the decision was solely his.
"I do believe that it's best for our team that Greg (McElroy) is our quarterback and I'm the guy that's making this decision,” he said.
Asked if he thought his own job might be in jeopardy, Ryan said that he was focusing only on the last two games of the season, but added, “People can speculate anything they want. As a football team we're 6-8 and nobody's happy about that and ultimately I'm the man that's accountable for this. I'm not thinking about myself, I'm thinking about this football team.”