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Tim Tebow, running back? 'That's a possibility,' Rex Ryan says

October 18, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow looks for running room against Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Koa Misi.
New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow looks for running room against Miami… (Lynne Sladky / Associated…)

Tim Tebow may have an expanded role when the New York Jets play the New England Patriots on Sunday, Coach Rex Ryan said Thursday.

The sound you just heard was a collective cheer from all the Mark Sanchez haters out there.

Unfortunately for those folks, Ryan is not replacing his starting quarterback (Sanchez) with his popular backup (Tebow).

That sound was a collective sigh from all the Sanchez haters.

Instead, Ryan said, Tebow could be used at running back to help take the place of injured backups Joe McKnight and Bilal Powell.

"That's a possibility," Ryan said. "The thing about Tim, with him being a football player like we've always talked about, by playing quarterback he knows all the positions. So can you plug him in at running back? Can you plug him in at tight end? I think the answer is yes."

Ryan characterized Tebow as a power runner, much like starter Shonn Greene. So Tebow probably won't be used so much as a change-of-pace back but more as a fill-in if Greene needs a rest or gets hurt.

Rookie Jonathan Grimes is the only other healthy running back on the Jets' roster and he hasn't played at all.

Such a role really shouldn't be much of a stretch for Tebow, who rushed for 887 yards and 12 touchdowns in his two years with the Broncos and has 64 yards in 18 carries so far this season.

So Jets fans should be pleased with this possibility -- once they get over the fact that Sanchez is still their starting quarterback.

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