A total of 68 New England Patriots players saw action on Thursday night, but backup quarterback Tim Tebow wasn’t one of those men.
In the third week of pre-season play, the Patriots lost 40-9 against the Detroit Lions, but the real story was Tebow’s lack of any chance to touch the football. The team features a 53-man roster, and playing time is critical in making that list.
Speaking about his current situation and attempt to receive some playing time, Tebow said:
“You just prepare yourself and be ready for whenever your number is called.”
Tebow casually flipped a ball around by himself and even warmed up on the sideline in the third quarter of play. Yet, despite his eagerness to enter the game, the QBs number was never called.
Coaching staff for the team put Tom Brady into the game for the first half and then switched over to Ryan Mallett for the second half of play. At one point, Lions fans even began to chant “Tebow” in the hopes of mixing up the game a bit via the former Heisman Trophy winner.
When asked why only two quarterbacks played, coach Bill Belichick blandly answered:
“Because we only played two quarterbacks.”
Tim Tebow will likely make the 90 to 75 players cut, but a lack of playing time against the New York Giants next Thursday or another lackluster performance could spell his end.
The New England Patriots will decide on their final roster on August 31.
In the meantime, things don’t look good for Tebow. Belichick is known for carrying just two quarterbacks on his roster. Right now Tom Brady is QB1 and Mallett is QB2. Adding a third quarterback into the mix takes away a bit more depth on the teams roster, a move Belichick will likely not attempt.
What is most surprising about Tim Tebow’s lack of game time is not that he failed to jump in at quarterback but rather that he failed to play in any position. Tebow has expressed interest in playing at other positions and he is most certainly healthy and possibly athletic enough to play in other spots. Tebow instead was one of just three healthy players who didn’t take to the field in any capacity.
When asked about his lack of game time, Tebow said:
“I’m not going to try to read anything with feelings. It’s just to be ready. I’m just doing what they tell me to do.”
Mallett finished the game with an abysmal 11-of-22 for 96 yards and one touchdown. Mallett is expected to take the majority of snaps during the teams last pre-season game in order to rest Tom Brady and avoid injury. Tebow hasn’t fared any better than Mallett with a 5-of-19 passing record during the preseason.
Tim Tebow keeps saying that he’s just waiting for his chance and always staying prepared. The question is quickly becoming “what is he preparing for?”