David Garrard was in camp with Miami last season, but hasn't taken a snap in the NFL since December 2010. Credit: Getty Images
In what was called a game-time decision by head coach Rex Ryan, the Jets decided to keep backup quarterback David Garrard inactive for the fifth time this season. It was a decision the Jets perhaps regretted as quarterback Geno Smith was yanked from the game at halftime.
Garrard, who signed with the Jets on Oct. 21 after he had originally retired in mid-May due to a left knee injury, has yet to play with the team. But even with the lack of game action, the veteran quarterback has worked himself back into shape without the benefit of training camp or preseason.
He said on Sunday he wasn't aware the coaching staff might activate him for the first time this season. But he said he is ready to play if called upon.
“I didn't hear anything about possibly being active,” Garrard told Metro. “I feel great. I can't get anymore in shape than I am now. I could probably lose some more pounds, but condition-wise I'm fine.”
During the bye week, Garrard had fluid drained from his left knee and he said he has no limitations at this point that would keep him off the field. After a game where neither Smith nor his replacement Matt Simms distinguished themselves in the pocket, Garrard suddenly steps to the forefront as a possible candidate to start next Sunday's must-win game against the Raiders.
Ryan indicated that Garrard, despite not knowing he might be activated, was perhaps close to being on the roster for Sunday's game. Instead, the Jets put cornerback Antonio Cromartie and wide receiver Santonio Holmes, both questionable due to injuries, on the game-day roster.
“Could be a possibility, we'll see. We looked at that even today,” Ryan said. “We were looking at some game-time decisions. Had David warming up and things.”
Cromartie had a shaky day in coverage and was burned on several pass plays. Holmes played sparingly and didn't register a single catch.
The Jets put in an inexperienced Simms at halftime.
According to Garrard, there have been no indications from Ryan, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg or quarterback coach David Lee about if he would be active anytime soon.
“No. They all say that they're still happy that I'm here,” Garrard said. “But no news that would lead me to thinking I'd be active. I have to do my part and be ready for when it comes.”