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Tim Tebow played through painful injuries during loss to Patriots

January 18, 2012 | 10:10 am

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow is one tough guy. With so much focus on his religious beliefs and scrutiny of his abilities as a passer, maybe we needed a reminder of that.

The Denver Broncos quarterback provided just that Saturday during a 45-10 playoff loss to the New England Patriots, playing through rib, lung and chest injuries even after the outcome had been decided.

“It's just the physicality of playing football," Tebow said. "Sometimes you get hit and it can hurt a little bit. But, I wanted to play a lot of the game."

Tebow got hurt while being tackled in the third quarter, ESPN first reported Wednesday, and then had trouble sleeping because of the pain. He underwent an MRI on his chest Monday, but team spokesman Patrick Smyth said he couldn't confirm the exact extent or nature of the injuries due to team policy.

But Smyth did acknowledge that Tebow finished the game -- which the Broncos trailed, 35-7, at halftime -- in considerable pain.

“I just wanted to show character," Tebow said. "You just continue to fight and it doesn't change who you are, how you play, how you go out there, you should be the same at all times,” Tebow said. “That's what I wanted to show, it didn't matter if it was the first play or the last play or you were down by 42. I was going to be the same player and I was still going to give everything I have. Because that's all I have to give.”

Tebow is not expected to need surgery and should make a full recovery without affecting his off-season training. Which is good news, especially considering team vice president of football operations John Elway plans on working hard with the quarterback who already has been named the Broncos' 2012 starter.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Tim Tebow runs with the ball against Mark Anderson and Brandon Deaderick of the New England Patriots. Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

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