For fans hoping to see Tim Tebow for the first time on Thursday night, you'll be disappointed.
Rex Ryan announced on Friday that Tebow, the Jets' No. 2 quarterback, will not play against the Eagles in the preseason finale. The Jets starters do not typically play in the final preseason game, but because of the type of the role they anticipate Tebow playing in the offense, he will be among those who don't play.
Greg McElroy and Matt Simms will be the Jets quarterbacks.
Tebow's absence could actually benefit the Eagles. The team has difficult roster decisions to make along the defense, particularly on the line and in the secondary. If the Jets spent time playing in the Wildcat, the Eagles would not have received the evaluation they might have needed for some key defensive players.
Speaking of Tebow, his college roommate was Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper. Cooper has not played in the preseason after suffering a broken collarbone during the first weekend of training camp.
Cooper said "everything is good," and he's progressing, but did not provide a timetable for his return. He's lost strength in his upper body and has started band exercises. The next step is lifting weights. But Cooper has been able to maintain his conditioning.
Casey Matthews, who has missed about three weeks with a high ankle sprain, thinks he can play by opening day. This seems to counter the timetable that coach Andy Reid provided on Sunday, but Matthews is walking fine and is now running.
"I ran out there on Saturday and it felt stiff, but if I had to play, I could," Matthews said.
Matthews thought the injury was originally minor because the high ankle sprain was discovered. He's never had the injury before, and is trying to avoid it lingering into the season.