From Comcast SportsNetFLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -- Rex Ryan expects Tim Tebow to be "ready to go" for the New York Jets' next game.Whether the backup quarterback actually plays Sunday against Arizona is another matter.Tebow is recovering from two broken ribs that kept him on the sideline last Thursday night in New York's 49-19 loss to New England. He was in uniform but didn't play, with Ryan saying he could have come in but would have been used only in an emergency. Tebow revealed after the game that he was injured two weeks ago at Seattle."I'm not expecting anything to change as far as his availability, but we'll see how the week goes, to see if there's any significant change or anything else," Ryan said Monday. "I know he was active for the game, but we'll see. I know he's getting treatment and things like that."Initial X-rays after the game against the Seahawks were negative, and Tebow played three snaps at St. Louis last week. Ryan said that the limited playing time was more a product of the Rams showing certain defensive looks than the injury. When the pain worsened early last week, Tebow underwent an MRI exam and CT scan, which revealed the fractures.Tebow was listed as questionable for the game against the Patriots, but was made active -- instead of third-stringer Greg McElroy -- after speaking with Ryan and undergoing a pregame evaluation. Tebow refused any pain-killing injections before the game."I considered putting Greg up and having (Tebow down), but he's like, Coach, I'm fine. I can go,'" Ryan said. "He wanted to. He came to the stadium early and he was ready to play -- in his eyes and in the doctors' and trainers' that he could play. That was why I made the decision to have him there as a backup quarterback only."Tebow has had little impact on the offense as the backup to Mark Sanchez, averaging just seven snaps a game. He is 6 of 7 passing for 39 yards and has rushed 29 times for 87 yards, but plays regularly on special teams as the personal punt protector. Ryan was not comfortable having Tebow even in that role against the Patriots after hearing that the quarterback's breathing wasn't normal the day before the game."We had him there in just an emergency role," Ryan said. "What that role would have been exactly, if something were to happen -- would we have just handed the ball off a little bit? That's probably what would have happened. Again, I wouldn't have put a guy out there if somebody with a lot more knowledge than me were to tell me that he's not ready to go."But the decision left the Jets with just one healthy quarterback active in Sanchez. While many fans have called for Tebow to replace Sanchez as the starter to give the offense a spark, others have said they'd like to see what McElroy might be able to do.A second-year quarterback out of Alabama, McElroy was a seventh-round draft pick who missed last season with a dislocated thumb. He has yet to throw a pass in a regular-season game, but has had some solid performances during the last two preseasons."It was a game-time decision last week, so obviously Tim wanted to give it a go and the coaches told me to just be ready," said McElroy, who feels comfortable in Tony Sparano's offense. "I did the best I could the entire week to try to understand the game plan and what we were going to be doing and the plan of attack. I was ready to go if need be, and fortunately, Tim was feeling OK and feeling well enough to go."McElroy did not take any snaps with the first- or second-team offense during an abbreviated practice schedule last week. He mainly worked with the scout team to try to help get the Jets' defense prepared. He anticipates doing much of the same this week, although Tebow didn't appear to do much during the early portion of the team's walkthrough Monday.McElroy also insists the fact that Tebow was still the backup over him despite having two cracked ribs wasn't a slight to him by Ryan and the coaching staff."Oh, well, it's never anything personal," McElroy said. "We don't speculate or anything like that. Again, Tim was feeling good enough to go and he is the backup quarterback, so my job on Thursday was to be those guys' eyes from the sideline. That's been my role up to this point and I'm very happy and pleased to have that role, and I just want to help out Mark and Tim any way I can."
OAKLAND – Kevin Durant drove to Oracle Arena for his Warriors debut Tuesday night, walked in feeling good and quickly got quite the horrific surprise.
The San Antonio Spurs started knocking on the door to the place and didn’t stop until they owned it.
The Spurs barged in and took what they wanted, everything from points and rebounds to wine and shaving cream. And the Warriors, as if bound and gagged, mostly watched helplessly in taking a 129-100 beating.
“A nice little slap in the face,” Steph Curry summarized.
“We got punched in the mouth,” Draymond Green acknowledged before adding the real takeaway line, “which I don’t know if it was quite a bad thing for us.”
This brutal flogging ends talk of a historically great start resembling that which the Warriors managed last season in winning their first 24 games. This puts to rest any cloak of invincibility for which they might have been being fitted, whether in their minds of those of their fans.
The Warriors were mugged on the glass, losing the rebounding battle 54-35, with San Antonio snatching 21 on offense and turning them into 26-4 advantage in second-chance points. The bigger, slower Spurs even outscored the Warriors 24-20 on the fast break.
“I’m sure we’ll be motivated for our next game,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I think our guys were embarrassed. I know I was.”
If embarrassing seems a bit strong, this surely was nothing less than a night of utter public humility. The curtain came up on opening night and there was CEO Joe Lacob shifting and twisting in his courtside seat, like a man getting teeth extracted without anesthesia, watching his Dream Team was destroyed.
“I didn’t have them ready to play, obviously,” Kerr said.
“The first game, you want to come out and protect your home court with the energy of the home opener to live throughout the game,” Curry said. “And we didn’t do anything to let that happen.”
Curry's numbers were not awful, at least not in the grand scheme of things. He posted 26 points, four assists and three rebounds – but added four turnovers.
And Durant, who started the game 4-of-4, delighting a crowd that had visions of 3-pointers raining from above, also submitted a glossy stat line, finishing with 27 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.
But the Warriors were dragged across their own floor. Oracle Arena has been their sanctuary for two full seasons, during which they posted a 78-4 record.
The best they can do now is 40-1.
“No one is satisfied with the way they played tonight, especially myself,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting. “In the long run, this will benefit us. It’s a long season, and not everything is going to be perfect from the jump.”
So, no, the season is not over. Not even close. Remember, LeBron James’ debut with the Miami Heat six years ago ended with an 88-80 loss, followed by seven more losses in the next 16 games.
But it’s always alarming when someone storms into your house, looks you in the eye and takes what they want.
Opening night for the Warriors delivered a painful reminder that regardless of how imposing they might be or how many All-Stars are on the payroll, nothing will be given. Effort and desire, as they discovered, can be more than a great equalizer.
The Warriors now know that victory is not preordained, that if they want the glory and the spoils they believe to be theirs, they will have to prove it. Every night.
SAN JOSE – Prior to the season’s start, Marc-Edouard Vlasic mentioned that the Sharks’ blue line group might not get the league-wide respect it deserves due to it only having “one offensive defenseman.” He was, of course, referring to Brent Burns.
Through the first six games, that was the truth. Burns entered Tuesday night’s action with nine points, tied for the league lead in scoring, while the other five Sharks defenseman had just three assists – combined.
For at least one night, though, it wasn’t Burns who was the offensive hero. That honor went to Vlasic, who seized a loose puck in the neutral zone in overtime against Anaheim, raced ahead towards goalie John Gibson on a partial breakaway, and finished off a beautiful goal in giving the Sharks a much-deserved 2-1 win at SAP Center.
“Put my head down, breakaway, cut across and I was able to put it in,” said Vlasic, who had the presence of mind to use his skate to keep a backchecking Corey Perry from knocking the puck away.
Pete DeBoer said: "He's got some speed when he wants to use it, and he's a big game player. That's what he does. Those guys find another level at key times, and he's one of those guys.”
The goal served as poetic justice in that the Sharks were the much better team throughout three periods. San Jose held a 35-20 advantage on the shot clock but only managed one goal, a power play marker by Joe Pavelski in the first period. Chris Wagner answered that late in the second period, despite San Jose registering 15 of the 20 shots in the middle frame.
DeBoer rearranged all four of his forward lines after the Sharks were shut out in Detroit on Saturday, and the Sharks looked much more dangerous despite just the single lonely marker before overtime.
“There’s a lot of good little things that we did well,” Pavelski said. “We were on the attack, felt like we were on the inside. We just weren’t cashing in or getting that bounce.”
Couture said: “We created some chances. We could have had a couple. Each line played pretty well.”
DeBoer, too, liked what he saw from his new combos.
“If we keep playing like that, it's going to come,” he said. “But, it was a nice response game after the Detroit game.”
Perhaps the most consistent part of the Sharks’ game through seven games has been their penalty kill. San Jose fought off all three Ducks advantages, including a brief five-on-three in the first period shortly after Pavelski had opened the scoring.
Micheal Haley took exception to a high hit by Clayton Stoner on Patrick Marleau, and dropped the gloves with the Anaheim defenseman. He was issued an instigation minor to go along with a fighting major and 10-minute misconduct, and one minute and 24 seconds later, Tomas Hertl was busted for a faceoff violation.
Couture, Burns and Paul Martin worked to nullify the two-man advantage, and the Sharks proceeded to kill the remaining time on the Hertl penalty, too.
“It was an important time of the game with a one-goal lead,” said Martin Jones, who made seven saves on the PK and 19 total.
Penalties like Haley’s, where he was sticking up for a teammate, are also easier to get up for according to the goalie.
“I don't think he was expecting to get an instigator call on that one, but yeah, we'll kill that off, for sure,” Jones said. “Hales is a good team guy to go out and do stuff like that."
San Jose is 18-for-22 on the penalty kill overall, including a third period kill of a Joe Thornton holding-the-stick minor at 4:09.
“We’ve allowed [four] goals against, but they were unfortunate bounces or really nice shots from them that we could do nothing about,” Vlasic said. “Penalty kill has been good. Guys have been bearing down, blocking shots when we need to.”
The Sharks will remain at home where they will host the rebuilding Blue Jackets on Thursday and Predators on Saturday. After an odd training camp with many players missing and a tough five-games-in-eight-days road trip after the home opener, they’ll get a chance now to enjoy a much more normal day-to-day routine, with practice.
Tuesday’s win could serve as a solid foundation on which to build.
“That was definitely one of our better games this year,” Couture said. “It was good from basically start to finish.”
Especially the finish.