Reports are coming out now that not only was the loss tough for Tebow mentally, it was tough for the Broncos quarterback physically.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that a source says that Tebow tore cartlidge in his rib, bruised his lung and had fluid build up in the pleural space in his chest. The injuries occurred at the start of the third quarter when Tebow was hit after throwing a pass.
The news of an injury gives more relevance to the role of Brady Quinn’s warmups during the second half. Despite the injury, Tebow played through the pain and finished the game.
"It’s just the physicality of playing football," said Tebow during the news conference following the loss. "Sometimes you get hit and it can hurt a little bit. But, I wanted to play a lot of the game."
Broncos head coach John Fox also commented on Tebow's injury after the game.
"Yeah, we thought Tim was dinged, but he just got the wind knocked out of him," said Fox. "But at the time, it looked like he was holding his shoulder and weren't sure he was healthy. That's typically what happens when you think your quarterback is hurt."
Tebow was pressured throughout the contest, as the Patriots were able to sack him five times, including a notably crushing blow from Shaun Ellis and another play that ended with Vince Wilfork falling right on top of the quarterback.
The Broncos quarterback struggled all night against the inspired Patriots defense, going 9-for-26 for 136 yards and barely contributing with just 13 rushing yards on five carries.