McElroy, New York's seventh-round draft pick out of Alabama, was injured when his hand hit the helmet of teammate Matt Kroul on a throw in the Jets' 24-14 preseason loss the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night. After the game, McElroy said he had to pop his thumb back in after he was hurt in the second quarter.
The team announced McElroy had surgery Friday morning, but added that there are no immediate plans to place him on season-ending injured reserve.
"It's just so frustrating," McElroy said after the game. "It's just one of those things. We play a sport, in this game, injuries are part of it. You never want to get too down, because it can happen to anybody. I've been fortunate enough to stay healthy throughout my career."
McElroy actually was unable to throw at the NFL combine in February after hurting his throwing hand during the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., in a similar fashion. He bruised the hand -- it was initially diagnosed as a fracture bone -- after hitting it on a teammate's helmet.
McElroy was expected to be the No. 3 quarterback behind starter Mark Sanchez and backup Mark Brunell, who expects to be ready for the season opener after missing the preseason with an injured pinkie and then a strained calf. The Jets could now be in the market for a third-string quarterback.
Drew Willy, an undrafted free agent from the University of Buffalo, performed well in McElroy's place, but was reportedly among the Jets' cuts Friday. Willy could end up on the Jets' practice squad if he's not signed by another team.
The Jets will not officially announce their cuts until Saturday night, but the agent for offensive lineman Nevin McCaskill and linebacker Joey LaRocque said on Twitter that his clients had been among those released. "Solid players who should be somewhere soon," Paul Sheehy wrote on his Twitter page.