David Garrard told NFL.com that a knee injury is forcing him to “call it quits” two months after signing with the New York Jets, the latest twist in the team’s uncertain quarterback situation.
“My knee is not holding up,” Garrard, 35, said yesterday in a text message, according to NFL.com columnist Adam Schein. “Continuing to swell after practices. Limiting what I can do.”
The Jets signed Garrard, who didn’t play in the National Football League the past two seasons, in March to add competition at quarterback after starter Mark Sanchez was briefly benched late last season.
Jets new General Manager John Idzik has said the team’s starting quarterback job is up for grabs and last month took West Virginia University quarterback Geno Smith in the second round of the draft. In addition to Sanchez, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms are the other quarterbacks on the roster.
The Jets last month released Tim Tebow, ending a failed experiment with the fan-favorite quarterback who threw only eight passes during his lone season with the team and was passed over in favor of McElroy when Sanchez was benched.
The Jets didn’t respond to messages seeking comment on Garrard’s status with the team.
Garrard spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, completing 62 percent of his passes for 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions.
Garrard was cut by the Jaguars five days before the start of the 2011 season to save $9 million. He ended up sitting out that season after undergoing back surgery and then signed with the Miami Dolphins before the 2012 campaign. Garrard was released by Miami after having surgery on his left knee.
Garrard’s knee injury further muddles the Jets’ quarterback situation and leaves Sanchez, who has committed 26 turnovers each of the past two seasons, as the only quarterback on the roster with significant experience. Over four NFL seasons, the former first-round pick has completed 55 percent of his passes with 68 touchdowns and 69 interceptions.