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Tim Tebow has broken ribs; why did Jets activate him?

It wouldn't be a New York Jets game without some Tim Tebow drama.

This time: Why was he even active?

The Jets were trounced 49-19 by the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving. Quarterback Mark Sanchez's final stat line (301 yards, one touchdown, one interception) was decent, but he had two turnovers when the game was competitive and put the Jets in an insurmountable hole.

All the while, Tebow stood dressed on the sideline. The MetLife Stadium crowd chanted for the backup quarterback, but little did they know Tebow had two broken ribs, which he suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10, and only would be used in an emergency.

If Tebow was that hurt, why dress him at all? A healthy Tebow hasn't contributed anything all season, so why activate him with busted ribs?

"I had to do a little bit of talking just to dress, but I just want to be there for my teammates in case they needed me in an emergency situation," Tebow said, via The Star-Ledger.

Those are noble intentions, but would it have helped the Jets if they needed Tebow in the second quarter? No. 3 quarterback Greg McElroy, who's healthy, was inactive. Tebow's best attribute is his athletic, playmaking ability. He probably wouldn't have been able to take shots with broken ribs. Tebow was the only active player on either team not to play a single snap.

Think the 30-point loss was a disaster? Imagine if Sanchez would have been injured early.

"I wasn't going to put him out there," Jets coach Rex Ryan said. "I mean he'd practiced, but a couple of days ago, you could tell he was hurting, maybe his breathing was a little different, and I'm standing there like, 'Shoot, I wouldn't play my son if that was the situation.' To Tim's credit, he wanted to be there for his team, there's no doubt.

"If you left it up to him, there's no doubt. I was like, look, if we absolutely have to have him, then we may consider it. But to me, that would be the only way we were going to play Tim."

That's why there's a coaching staff to make those decisions. But hey, how much worse could it have been?

"The thought did go through my mind to possibly deactivate him," Ryan said. "But when he came out here, he felt that if he had to go, then he could get it done, and that was my decision."

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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