Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tebow Cleared, But Should He Play?

The Gainesville Sun reported this afternoon that doctors have cleared Tim Tebow to play tonight against the fourth-ranked LSU Tigers. Tebow was medically cleared two weeks after suffering a concussion against Kentucky. Urban Meyer this morning, in a short interview with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi said that if Tebow was cleared by doctors, that he would play tonight.

The questions now remain how much should Tebow play, and should he even be playing at all. Let's address the latter one first. Should he be playing today, just two weeks removed from the impact? The answer, in the writer's humble opinion, is no, he probably shouldn't be playing. We've all heard the facts over the last couple of weeks: Tebow is three to six times more likely to suffer another concussion, etc. It's probably best that he sit out one more week and fully recover, because as we're all well-aware, a concussion is a brain injury. You can't wrap it up, you can't ice it down or anything. With amateur athletes (and even the face of college football), health should be priority one, and the last thing any real college football fan wants to see is Tebow taking another such hit and doing more damage to himself. But if he is cleared to play, then he is cleared to play, and the doctors feel he is good to go.

As for the other question: how much should he play? I think he'll probably get the start, since reports are that he practiced all Thursday with the first-team offense. That being said, don't be surprised if we still see a healthy dosage of John Brantley, much like the 2006 offense with Tebow and Chris Leak sharing time. Also, I doubt we see Tebow trying to take on defenders with a full head of steam, so expect Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey and Emmanuel Moody to get their fill of touches tonight.

Tebow is a gamer, and will want to try to do what he can to help the team win tonight, but should he struggle, or take another shot, I have confidence that Brantley can manage the offense well enough to lead the Gators to a win in Baton Rouge.

Again, I don't think he should play, but if the doctors say he's set, then you know he's going to come out and give it a shot, and try to inspire his team, and come out of Death Valley with a signature W.

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