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Monday’s Morning Mashup: Tim Tebow reportedly asks out of Jets’ wildcat 12.24.12 at 7:53 am ET
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College football: Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Fresno State vs. SMU, 8 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ Tim Tebow did not play in the Jets’ 27-17 loss to the visiting Chargers on Sunday, and there are reports that the backup quarterback told his coaches he did not want to be used in the wildcat package because he was frustrated with having been passed over for the starting job.

While former third-stringer Greg McElroy started in place of the benched Mark Sanchez, wide receiver Jeremy Kerley ran the wildcat plays.

Jets coach Rex Ryan would only say (through a spokesman) that it was a “coach’s decision,” and Tebow stated, “It just kind of happens.”

There have been reports in the past few days that Tebow will join the Jaguars next season, either via a trade or as a free agent after a release from the Jets. Tebow, who has 39 passing yards this season, remained confident Sunday.

“I believe in my God-given ability to play this game of football and I think I can play it for a long time,” he said. “And I look forward to playing it some more.”

‘™¦ Neither the Panthers nor Raiders will be in the postseason, but both teams played with playoff intensity Sunday, with Carolina taking a 17-6 victory. Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer was knocked out of the game on a hit by Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy in the first quarter, and Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly admitted that his team wanted revenge on Cam Newton.

“You take our guy out we’re going to go and try to take your guy out,” Kelly said. “We’re not out to hurt someone, but when that happens ‘€¦”

Kelly was flagged for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter following a sack of Newton, and the QB responded by kicking Kelly off him. Newton later received a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct when he bumped an official while complaining about a hit he felt was late.

‘™¦ Former major leaguer Ryan Freel was found dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Saturday, according to police in Jacksonville, Fla. The 36-year-old hit .268 and had 143 stolen bases in 594 career games with the Blue Jays (2001), Reds (’03-08), Orioles (’09), Cubs (’09) and Royals (’09).

Tweeted former teammate Sean Casey: RIP Ryan Freel!! Great teammate, great guy, n loved his family! Such a sad day today with his passing! Awful news! Prayers are with his family!

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On Dec. 24, 1960, the Celtics set an NBA record for most rebounds in a game during a 150-106 rout of the visiting Pistons. How many rebounds did the Celtics get: 87, 94, 101 or 109?

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Read More: Greg McElroy, Ryan Freel, Sean Casey, Tim Tebow