Jaguars Training Camp: Down Goes Garrard

The Jacksonville Jaguars were out on the practice fields again after a day off on Wednesday. The team was in shells tonight after being in full pads on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights. Practice was off to a nice pace in 11x11 drills when Jaguars starting quarterback David Garrard was trying to step up to avoid a sack and wound up rolling over a pile and hurting his back. After Garrard was stretched out a bit on the ground, trainers got him into a golf cart and slipped him out the back entrance. It took us a few minutes to figure out exactly where he disappeared to. After Garrard left, rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert took the majority of the reps and had a very nice night passing the football.

After practice, Del Rio met with the media to try to pour some water on the obvious fire that could have started. "David's back got a little tight," Del Rio told reporters. "We're just going to ice him down. He'll get treatment and all that, but he'll be fine." Del Rio said he expected Garrard to still play in the Jaguars scrimmage scheduled for Saturday evening."He'll be fine. Based on what Mike (Ryan) relayed to us it's a little tight. We'll get a handle on it," Del Rio said. "All indications are it's not going to be a major deal."

The Good:

 

  • Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert had another good night throwing the football. With David Garrard missing over half the team drills with his back injury, Gabbert took the boat load of reps with the first and second team offense. He made a couple of more "wow" plays he seems to make. One one particular play Gabbert rolled out away from the pass rush and hit Cecil Shorts on the sideline, who made a wonderful leaping grab. Gabbert also had a nice touchdown pass in redzone drills, rifling the ball into a tight window for a touchdown.
  • After an early case of the dropsies, Cecil Shorts continued to impress as he has all camp long.
  • Defensive end Aaron Morgan continues to have practices where he will just be unblockable at times. He beat offensive lineman Guy Whimper quite a few times in pass rushing drills. In team drills, he "sacked" David Garrard in nearly three consecutive plays.

The Bad:

 

  • The Jaguars were running some option plays with Garrard and Gabbert, which really hurts my heart. I hate the option in the NFL.
  • Before going down with an injury, David Garrard was having another so-so/shaky practice. He had a nice play early on in 11x11 drills hitting receiver Jason Hill deep in the middle of the field after David Jones blew his coverage, but after that Garrard opted for checkdowns and was "sacked" quite a bit in drills. He was also knocked down a few times, including the play where he got injured.
  • Eben Britton continues to struggle at the right tackle position. I'm not sure if it's just the significant improvement in Austen Lane's game, or Britton just flat out struggling.
It seems it was just a scare with David Garrard's back, but anytime you need to be carted off the field in the middle of practice it's generally not that good. I wouldn't expect Garrard to practice tomorrow evening, but all indications so far are he will play in the scrimmage on Saturday.

Also of note, receiver Kassim Osgood asked when rookie haircuts were coming, to which he said they weren't per Del Rio's orders. It looks like Gabbert will get to keep his locks.
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