When Tim Tebow scored that touchdown on the final play of the preseason opener on Sunday night, there was one thing that concerned me: When he got up after scoring, he looked banged up.
The first sign? He offered none of his typical emotion. Yes, it was ultimately a losing game, but I expected him to show at least some enthusiasm after scoring.
Instead, he merely looked pummeled -- and he was, sandwiched between two Bengals defensive players. Tebow didn't take any hits to the head, but he did get thumped in the midsection.
Today at practice, Tebow left the field with a trainer, with speculation that there are some lingering effects from the game-ending hit.
The word is that it's his ribs. Don't be surprised to see Tebow held out of the 2nd preseason game. (Although, as the Post put it, if it was the regular season, he would play.)
Will missing the game stunt his development? Not really. His role the first 6-10 weeks was going to be getting a half-dozen carries a game in short-yardage or red-zone situations; they need him as healthy as possible for the regular season.
Of course, the injury begs the question -- asked by many, including on a radio interview I did yesterday -- of whether Tebow can take the pummeling without feeling the effects.
Credit the Post for zeroing in on the larger point: Defensive players will be ready to deliver his "Welcome to the NFL" hits, but should Tebow modify his style for the situation?
(Here's the thing: If he had gotten up from that TD unscathed, no one would be asking that question -- as they didn't until the injury effects surfaced. Big hits happen.)