Jaguars QB Garrard expects to be cleared to play at Dallas

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The "cloud coverage" has cleared, and quarterback David Garrard is ready to return for the Jaguars.

Almost.

Garrard still has to pass post-concussion tests Tuesday to be cleared to practice and play for the Jaguars (3-4).

"Once I pass those, then everything will be good," Garrard said.

Speaking for the first time since he sustained his concussion last Monday night against the Tennessee Titans, Garrard said he failed the NFL-mandated tests Friday.

"It was really just a cloud coverage thing," he said. "It wasn't partly cloudy. It wasn't semi-cloudy. It was a total cloud coverage. But now I feel great. I feel like my normal self. But we're going to be smart and make sure that it's not you just got over the clouds but they're still back there lingering or something."

Garrard sustained a concussion when Titans linebacker Will Witherspoon drove him to the ground during the second quarter of the 30-3 loss, the worst home defeat in Jaguars history.

The next day was "just awful," Garrard said. He was sensitive to light and noise, but he never vomited. His focus, demeanor and speech were "really slowed down."

Garrard started feeling better Saturday and even worked out Sunday and Monday.

"It was a terrible experience to go through," Garrard said. "It was a tough experience to go through, but hopefully it doesn't happen again."

Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio made it clear Monday that Garrard will start Sunday's game at Dallas if he passes his tests.

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"As long as he remembers snap counts and how to play football," Del Rio said.

Backup Todd Bouman, signed early last week, completed 18 of 34 passes for 222 yards in Sunday's 42-20 loss at Kansas City. Bouman had two touchdown passes and two interceptions, but he received strong reviews from Del Rio and teammates. Even Garrard was impressed.

"I thought it was awesome the way he started out the game, the way he was energized," Garrard said. "He looked like a kid out there for a 38-year-old man. He had fun. Things just didn't work out for him there toward the end. Those are things that as an offensive group we're going to have to overcome. Teams are going to have turnovers, but you've got to be able to overcome them and go down and make a score, and we didn't do that."

Garrard has been inconsistent all season. He has eight TD passes and an interception in three wins, and one score and six turnovers in three losses. He has been sacked 12 times, with nine of them coming in the losses.

Still, Garrard insisted he won't change the way he plays following the first concussion of his NFL career.

"I'm still going to be David Garrard," he said. "I'm going to play the way that I play. I can't alter my game. I don't know how I would alter it. I'm going to be as physical as I still can, but also be smart, too, knowing that I can have a concussion, I can be susceptible to a concussion."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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