Tebow, who didn't play in the last two games as he heals from fractured ribs, was listed as questionable for the game. Coach Rex Ryan indicated as late as Thursday that he wasn't comfortable with Tebow playing in a game.
Tebow was limited in practice all week. On Friday, Ryan suggested he might dress all three quarterbacks, with Tebow and McElroy backing up embattled starter Mark Sanchez.
The Jets had planned to dress all three quarterbacks, a team spokesman said before the game, but a medical situation involving another player changed the plan. Running back Joe McKnight developed a migraine Sunday morning. As a result, the team felt it needed to activate running back Kahlil Bell.
Still, for the second time in three games, the Jets had Tebow as the No. 2 quarterback even though he wasn't 100 percent.
McElroy was active last week and rallied the Jets to a 7-6 win over the Arizona Cardinals, fueling a quarterback controversy. Ryan said he considered McElroy for the starting job. In a span of a week, McElroy went from almost starting to inactive.
The crowd at EverBank Field appreciated Ryan's decision. Tebow is a local icon, as he grew up in Jacksonville and starred at the University of Florida.