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Garrard has surgery on injured finger, Edwards gets audition

Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has undergone surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right middle finger.

Garrard had surgery Thursday at Baptist Orthopaedic Surgery Center in Jacksonville. Garrard posted a picture of himself wearing a sling and cast on Twitter following the outpatient procedure. Garrard tweeted "Surgery went great. Now for the recovery!"

Team spokesman Dan Edwards says Garrard had surgery to repair a tendon disruption and a ligament rupture. The Jaguars placed the quarterback on injured reserve Thursday.

Garrard said Wednesday that rehabilitation is expected to take two months. He slammed his hand into Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney's helmet on Dec. 19. X-rays were negative, and Garrard insisted his finger was just jammed. But he re-injured it during Sunday's 20-17 overtime loss to Washington.

Jacksonville promoted linebacker Alvin Bowen off the practice squad to take Garrard's spot on the roster.

Trent Edwards will take Garrard's place in Jacksonville's season finale against the Houston Texans on Sunday.

The stakes are high for Edwards, who can solidify is future with the Jaguars with a solid performance.

"It certainly gives us a great opportunity to evaluate Trent further," coach Jack Del Rio said. "It's a great opportunity for him to show us what he has and it's a great opportunity for us to take that all in and evaluate that.

"Every time you get an opportunity to step on the field, you get an opportunity to do that very thing, to show the team you're playing for and even other teams out there what you're all about."

Edwards, a third-round draft pick in 2007, opened the season as Buffalo's starter but was benched and released after two games.

The Jaguars (8-7) claimed him off waivers in late September. They picked up the remaining $1.36 million of his contract with the thought that Edwards might be a quarterback they could develop this season, especially considering aging starter David Garrard has been inconsistent and backup Luke McCown will be a free agent.

The finale will serve as Edwards' biggest stage.

"Not only is it a showcase game for Trent for the Jaguars, but if Trent's not with the Jaguars, he's going to be somewhere," offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. "So every team's going to look at the film. Every team that's evaluating Trent, they want his most recent film."

Edwards got thrown into the mix after two weeks in Jacksonville, replacing Garrard during a Monday night game against Tennessee on Oct. 18. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 140 yards, with two interceptions. He was sacked twice, scrambled five times for 16 yards and injured his right thumb late in the game.

He hasn't played since and hasn't gotten many repetitions in practice.

"We don't know from our experience what we're going to get," Koetter said. "I know Trent will prepare well. He's a very bright guy. He knows the system a 100 times better than he did when he got thrown out there against Tennessee. It's just fear of the unknown."

Edwards believes he's prepared for the starting role, especially after sitting through meetings and watching Garrard run the offense for 12 games.

"All of the information I've gathered from sitting and watching Dave and seeing him go through his reads and the way he carriers himself, I've been able to witness that," Edwards said.

"Hopefully I can use my experience that I've had in the past for starting games in Buffalo and now coming here. I need to use that to my advantage."

Koetter plans to build the game plan around the things Edwards likes best.

"When a quarterback is playing his first game and he hasn't been playing very much, in my opinion, you're crazy as a coach if you try to force your whole package down his throat because you think it's good," Koetter said.

Edwards started 32 games in Buffalo, completing 61 percent of his passes for 5,879 yards, with 25 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. But his tenure was filled with criticism and complaints. Fans ripped him for checking down to short routes and failing in clutch situations.

So Edwards was ready for a fresh start in Jacksonville.

How he does against the reeling Texans (5-10) could determine whether the Jaguars make the playoffs -- they need to win and have Tennessee upset Indianapolis -- and whether he sticks around.

"It's an opportunity for me to show that I can still play the position and I know I can," Edwards said. "It's just a matter of now I get the opportunity to go out there and play a little bit more. I'm happy and excited, but we need to get this win on Sunday."

Notes: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (knee), who is unlikely to play Sunday after missing practice all week, admitted to the Times-Union that his sore knee has been bothering him for some time. "It wasn't hurt to the point that I couldn't play on it but we knew that if I did play on it this could happen," he said. "I chose to do it. I wanted to play football and I love playing the game. This is the price you pay sometimes." ... Running back Greg Jones (back) and receiver Mike Sims-Walker (ankle) were limited in Thursday's practice.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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