David Garrard has weeks to heal before the regular season even begins, so it seems ridiculous to even project that Blaine Gabbert could be the starting quarterback from the outset of the season. But with the reports that Garrard was limping off of the field today before being taken away on a cart, Jags fans have to be glad, at the very least, that they have another respected option in house.
Garrard is coming off of the best seasons of his career, so even with the first round trade that brought in Gabbert in April’s NFL Draft, he should still feel comfortable as the starter for the Jags. In 2010, Garrard looked as sharp as ever with a 90.3 passer rating backed up by 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions and another 5 rushing TDs. Better yet was a career-high completion percentage of 64.5.
But you need to be two-deep at the quarterback position in the NFL today, unless you’re lucky like the Colts seem to be every year with Peyton Manning’s health. Last year, the Bears weakness was revealed after Jay Cutler went down. Other teams are struggling to even find one quarterback (Washington, Miami), yet the Jags have a first-round pick waiting in the wings, thanks to the trade maneuvering of Gene Smith.
The obvious best case scenario is for Garrard to get healthy and mentor Gabbert, but it’s nice to have a decent option in house. And Gabbert is now reminded of the need to be as ready as possible despite just starting his rookie season.