The answer would be injury. And that’s exactly what happened to David Garrard, the former Jacksonville QB who was the favorite to take over in Miami. But Garrard suffered a knee injury and will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery that will sideline him up to four weeks, his agent said Friday.
Of course, he cannot win a job if he cannot compete, which makes the injury even worse for Garrard.
And so, the Dolphins’ starting quarterback race turns into a two-man deal: veteran Matt Moore and rookie Ryan Tannehill.
Garrard’s knee had been bothering him for a few days, and following an examination he decided to undergo surgery rather than deal with the issue throughout the season, said his agent, Al Irby.
“He had been feeling some soreness, and he got it looked at,” Irby Wsaid. “He could have played on it, but they’d rather do the surgery now to make him more comfortable, rather than fool around with it.”
The decision came with Garrard slated to start in his Dolphins debut Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their exhibition opener.
Instead, the competition for the starting job is narrowed down to holdover Moore and first-round draft pick Tannehill from Arkansas Moore replaced Garrard as the starter against the Bucs.
Garrard, 34, started for Jacksonville from 2005-10. He underwent back surgery in October and sat out last season, then signed with Miami in March.
He hasn’t had issues with his knee in the past, Irby said.
Garrard’s best season was in 2007, when he threw 18 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. He topped 3,500 yards passing in 2008 and ’09, and he’s 39-37 as a starter in nine seasons, all with Jacksonville.
Now, he has to start all over.