Garrard tweaks back; Del Rio insists Jags QB should be fine

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars quarterback David Garrard left practice Thursday night with a sore back, but coach Jack Del Rio didn't sound too concerned.

Garrard tweaked his back during 11-on-11 drills in which he was hit several times despite wearing a non-contact jersey. Trainers worked on the 10-year NFL veteran on the sideline, and then he hobbled off, exited the practice field out a side door and gingerly climbed onto an awaiting golf cart.

Del Rio said Garrard's back "got a little tight."

"We're just icing him down," Del Rio said. "He'll get treatment and all that, but he should be fine, so nothing major there. ... It's not the time to push through that kind of thing, so just let it settle down."

Del Rio wasn't sure if Garrard would have X-rays or an MRI.

"Did not sound any kind of alarm," Del Rio said. "Thought it was something that would settle down."

Del Rio added that he expects Garrard to play during the team's scrimmage Saturday night.

"I would be surprised if he didn't," the coach said. "Based on what (head athletic trainer) Mike (Ryan) had relayed just now, it's just a little tight. Sometimes you need to work the core and the stretching and some of those things that maybe you don't do when you're not here all the time working with trainers. We'll get a handle on it, but all indications are it won't be a major deal."

Garrard missed a few days of practice last season because of a sore back, but he played through the injury. He also tore ligaments in the middle finger on his throwing hand and sat out the season finale, finishing the year with 23 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

The Jaguars drafted Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in April's draft. The Jaguars insist that Gabbert isn't competing with Garrard for the starting job.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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