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Sports

September 3, 2013

Belichick refuses to rule out Tebow comeback

FOXBOROUGH — Could the door be open for quarterback Tim Tebow to return to the New England Patriots?

Patriots coach Bill Belichick yesterday declined to rule out bringing back the popular but underperforming quarterback some time this season, noting that it’s not uncommon for him to re-sign a player he’s already cut.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen during the year, but certainly we’ve had a lot of players who’ve left here and come back here,” Belichick told reporters in his first comments since releasing Tebow on Saturday. “That’s already happened multiple times this year.”

The Patriots have only two quarterbacks on the active roster. If starter Tom Brady or backup Ryan Mallett is injured, they would need another.

The decision to go with two quarterbacks, as the team has done in the past, was “‘cause we thought it was the best thing for the team.”

Tebow was released Saturday when NFL teams were required to cut their rosters to 53 players. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner was 11 for 30 for 145 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in three exhibition games.

The Patriots commonly bring back players after releasing them. In fact, yesterday they re-signed cornerback Marquice Cole just one day after releasing him.

“There are a million things that go into every decision, personnel decision,” Belichick said. “There are a lot of things that play off one another. In the end, we did what we thought was best for the team, at every position, every one.”

Also yesterday, Belichick said tight end Rob Gronkowski is “definitely moving forward” after an offseason of surgeries. Belichick would not elaborate on the future for the two-time Pro Bowl selection, who practiced in full pads Sunday for the first time since having back surgery, taking part in drills with his teammates during the 15 minutes reporters were allowed to observe the start of practice.

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