New York Jets rookie quarterback Greg McElroy has been one of the biggest bright spots of the 2011 NFL preseason.
The 7th-round draft pick out of Alabama came into Thursday’s final preseason games with a 90.6 quarterback rating, which was the highest of all 13 rookie quarterbacks in the NFL this season.
However, in the Jets’ preseason finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, McElroy completed just 3 of 6 passes for 29 yards before leaving the game with an injured thumb on his throwing hand after banging it on an Eagles player’s helmet as he followed-through on a pass attempt.
Unfortunately for the 23-year-old McElroy, the injury required surgery. According to the New York Jets official website, McElroy underwent surgery Friday morning on his thumb to fix the dislocation. The recovery is 6-8 weeks.
Although it’s a bad break for the young quarterback, all in all, it’s not the worst thing in the world. McElroy was slated to be the third-string quarterback going into the regular season so he wasn’t expected to be on the field anyway.
Now, McElroy can continue to learn the playbook while he rehabs, and starting quarterback Mark Sanchez will still be backed up by veteran Mark Brunell.
It appears that the injury to McElroy will not affect his status on the roster however, as it’s likely that the Jets will carry him on the 53-man roster and not put him on injured reserve.
Fourth-string quarterback Drew Willy is likely to be waived, and the Jets are expected to try to sign him to the practice squad should he clear waivers.