David Garrard is once again back with the Jets
The time taken off was the factor the retired quarterback felt so good that he decided to return. But it wasn’t just the knee recovery that moved him to return. Retirement simply wasn’t something he wanted right now.
“I didn’t want to turn 50, look back, and be that guy that said, ‘What if I just called somebody?’ I’m glad I did,” Garrard said following the practice session with his team.
Following his announcement that he was coming out of retirement, he was shifted from the reserve/retired list to the exempt list which allows him to take part in team meetings and practice sessions. The Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez will be sitting out the season because of a shoulder injury and is being substituted by rookie Geno Smith. Having a veteran quarterback at hand is the smart move to make as Smith can learn from him and he can come in handy at critical times.
Garrard will still be on the exempt list for two more games. If his knee heals sufficiently and does not bother again, the Jets might just put him on the sideline as backup. They have until October 21 to make the decision if they want him or not.
“My knee’s been feeling great,” he said. “I’ve been going out just about every other morning and running three miles on concrete and I really thought that would be the real test on if my knee would swell back up and get sore again and it hasn’t,” he said. “So for the last three weeks, I’ve been doing that.”
Garrard called previous week to the Jets general manager John Idzik and talked to him about his return from retirement and if they could give him a shot.
“I started to get some really good feedback while talking to him. I told him, ‘Hey, if there’s anything I can do to help you guys out in any kind of way,” he said. “I know my veteran leadership in the meeting rooms, the practice fields and really helping Geno continue to grow, I would love to come back and help you guys.’ ”