East Rutherford, NJ, United States (4E Sports) – New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has decided to bench his four-year starter Mark Sanchez in favor of Greg McElroy, who will make his first career start against the San Diego Chargers at home.
Aside from Sanchez, Ryan’s decision is also a stunning blow to No. 2 quarterback Tim Tebow, who was expected by Jets fans to take over playmaking duties.
A source said that the organization is concerned about potential backlash from Ryan’s decision to pass over one of the most popular players in the league in favor of a third-string quarterback.
The source added that Ryan may try to find a way to incorporate Tebow into the game plan to appease his millions of fans.
Ryan’s decision to replace Sanchez came after the quarterback threw four interceptions and lost a fumble in the 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans Monday.
The loss mathematically eliminated the Jets (6-8) from playoff contention.
This season, Sanchez has committed a league-high 24 turnovers, including 17 interceptions. His two-year turnover total is a staggering 50.
In March, Sanchez signed a contract extension through 2016, and is due an $8.25 million guarantee in 2013. It means he probably will be back in 2013 but his role as starter is unclear.