For nearly four seasons, the Jets began each week with one constant in their starting lineup: Through thick and thin, Mark Sanchez has been the quarterback.
That run ended Tuesday, a day after Sanchez's five turnovers in a loss to Tennessee that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention. Coach Rex Ryan announced that the third-stringer, Greg McElroy, would make his first career start Sunday against San Diego.
Ryan told Sanchez shortly after Monday's game.
It remained unclear when he told Tim Tebow.
In a conference call Tuesday, Ryan would not divulge why he chose McElroy ahead of Tebow, who has been listed as the backup since Week 1.
"I can answer this question a million ways — frontwards, backwards, sideways and anything else," Ryan said when pressed on Tebow. "It's my decision, and I'm going to base it on my gut feeling or whatever."
Sanchez threw four interceptions and lost a fumble with less than 50 seconds to play, with the Jets on the Titans' 25-yard line after Tennessee shanked a punt. Sanchez has committed 24 turnovers this season and 50 since the start of 2011, most in the NFL.
"He had obviously a poor day, but he wasn't alone with that," Ryan said.
Ryan would not rule out the possibility Sanchez will start again, either in Week 17 or down the road. Ryan also did not clarify if Tebow would be the backup, No. 3, or even inactive.
McElroy replaced Sanchez in the third quarter Dec. 2 against Arizona and threw the go-ahead touchdown pass in a 7-6 victory. But he was inactive the following two weeks.
Also, a man posted death threats toward Sanchez on his Twitter account Monday night. The unidentified fan, who used the handle BraveGrancru, told Newsday on Tuesday that he never intended to carry out his threat and said, "I do not even own a gun."
CRUZ SEES GRIEVING FAMILY: Giants receiver Victor Cruz visited the home of the 6-year-old Connecticut shooting victim who was buried in a replica Cruz jersey. Jack Pinto was among 20 children shot to death Friday in Newtown.
BELCHER CASE: Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher was apparently worried he would lose his baby and money to his longtime girlfriend before fatally shooting her and himself on Dec. 1, according to newly released police reports. Belcher also complained about Kasandra Perkins, the mother of the couple's 3-month-old daughter, in conversations and texts sent to a woman he was dating on the side, the reports show.
BILLS: Starting right guard Kraig Urbik signed a four-year extension through 2016, worth $13.3 million including a $3.5 million signing bonus this season.
BROWNS: Alec Scheiner, 39, was named team president. He was with the Cowboys for eight years and was senior vice president and general counsel with Dallas the past five years. … Linebacker James-Michael Johnson and safety T.J. Ward went on injured reserve with knee injuries.
CHARGERS: Running back Ryan Mathews (broken left collarbone), wide receiver Malcom Floyd (ankle) and tackle Reggie Wells (ankle and toe) went on season-ending injured reserve.
COWBOYS: A judge ordered nose tackle Josh Brent to wear an electronic monitor pending his trial on an intoxication manslaughter charge in the one-car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown. State District Judge Fred Tinsley also lowered Brent's bond from $500,000 to $100,000.
DOLPHINS: Defensive back Dimitri Patterson was awarded to Miami one day after the Browns waived him.
JAGUARS: Defensive end Andre Branch and running back Jordan Todman went on injured reserve.
STEELERS: The boot came off of Ike Taylor's fractured ankle but the cornerback will miss his third straight game Sunday.