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Rex Ryan: Tim Tebow at running back 'a possibility'

It certainly pleases Rex Ryan that Bill Belichick is locked away right now, in some back room, trying to crack the code on Tim Tebow.

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When Ryan was asked Thursday if Tebow might line up in the New York Jets' injury-riddled backfield Sunday against the New England Patriots, the coach didn't count it out.

"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. And so can you plug him in at running back? Plug him in at tight end? Whatever ... I think the answer is yes."

We might see more of Tebow on Sunday for two reasons: (1) Running back Joe McKnight (ankle) hasn't practiced this week, and Bilal Powell (shoulder) already has been ruled out; (2) Ryan is obsessed with beating Belichick and will dump the playbook to earn a win in the deadlocked AFC East.

ESPN New York's Rich Cimini reported Thursday the Jets didn't go out and sign another runner because of Tebow's ability to contribute out of the backfield, according to sources. Cimini called it a "sure sign" Tebow will be heavily involved.

The 3-3 Jets haven't found a way to make Tebow a consistent force in their offense. Ryan relishes opponents having to plan for what they've seen -- or haven't seen -- from Tebow, but his impact has been marginal for an attack that ranks 30th in the NFL.

Last week's ground explosion against the Indianapolis Colts was promising -- and the best way to save Mark Sanchez -- but New York's base offense has failed to deliver. Until we see it in the flesh, Tebow remains nothing more than window dressing on a scheme that lacks identity.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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