Tebow Watch: Does he play Saturday?

Denver Broncos rookie Tim Tebow missed his second straight day of practice Thursday with a rib injury he suffered Sunday night in his preseason debut.

The Denver Post reports that Tebow will likely miss his Denver debut, Saturday against Detroit. Denver coach Josh McDaniels wouldn’t commit either way, saying there is still time for injured players to come back and play Saturday. Still, McDaniels also indicated that players who didn’t practice Thursday could be out for the game.

“There’s a chance that a lot of those guys that aren’t out here won’t play,” McDaniels said. “We are just going to see in the next 24 to 36 hours how all of them respond to the treatment they are getting, and we’ll make the best decision hopefully for the team going forward. We are not going to worry about trying to hurry anybody back for this game, but if they’re healthy and we feel like it’s not a risk, then we’ll go ahead and play them.”

There are many, many people in Denver who are holding a ticket for Saturday’s game who are very interested in his decision. I bet Tebow doesn’t play. If he missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, would he really play in an exhibition game Saturday?

If Tebow doesn’t play, it’s not the end of the world. He needs the work, but it’s not worth having him play injured. If Tebow doesn’t play, he will have to catch up in the final two preseason games. However, because the first team plays well into the second half in the third preseason game, Tebow’s playing time in the final two games will be somewhat limited. However, assuming he is back on the practice field soon, Tebow should be ready for special-package play he will receive when the season starts.

Tebow’s rugged style of play has come into question in Denver. Many observers believe the all-out running style he displayed at Florida will not fly in the NFL. Tebow was hurt on the final play of the game in Cincinnati when he collided with a defender at the goal line on a 7-yard touchdown run.

McDaniels doesn’t think it’s much of an issue.

“He wasn’t in a position the other night to do anything other than what he did,” McDaniels said. “Had he not tried to get it in on the last play of the game, I’m sure that would have been a bigger story. No, if it’s the first quarter and you get a first down on a scramble, yeah you try to preserve your body. I think that’s the smartest thing to do. He hasn’t been in that situation yet, so to judge him on what happened the other night in terms of being reckless I would say is very unfair. I think what he did the other night I hope all of our guys would have done – no matter who it was. Yeah, it’s part of his game, but I’m sure he’ll learn either the easy way or the hard way that you want to try to stay in this league as long as you can, and we’ll help him do that.”