Jets announce QB McElroy will start Sunday

Posted Dec. 18, 2012 @ 3:12 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The Jets will have a new starting quarterback for the first time since 2009.

Following Monday night’s loss, which eliminated them from playoff contention, the Jets announced Tuesday that Greg McElroy will be the team’s starting quarterback in Sunday’s game against the Chargers.

In Monday’s loss, Mark Sanchez, who has started every game over the last three seasons and 61 of the team’s last 62 games, threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. He has 17 interceptions and seven lost fumbles this season.

McElroy, a seventh-round pick in 2011, replaced Sanchez in Week 13 and completed 5-of-7 passes, including the game-winning touchdown against Arizona. It was McElroy’s first, and only, NFL regular-season action. He threw for 29 yards.

Tim Tebow has been the team’s No. 2 quarterback the last two weeks. On the season, he has completed 6-of-8 passes and has 32 carries for 102 yards.

The way we see it

Rex Ryan has stood behind Sanchez for a long time, but Monday night’s loss was too much, and reports indicate that he would risk losing the locker room if he let Sanchez start again. McElroy is smart and has played well in his two preseasons, but expect Tony Sparano to keep things simple for McElroy, who was a seventh-rounder for a reason.

There are two looming situations the Jets still have to consider. For one, Sanchez is guaranteed $8.25 million for next season. Whether he is a starter or a backup for next year is up in the air, and the club could decide to eat the money and cut him.

Then there’s Tebow, who clearly did nothing in his time with the Jets to convince Ryan that he should be a starting quarterback, as he is being passed by McElroy. The trade for Tebow continues to look worse, and it appears he was simply a one-year rental that did not go well.