JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars quarterback David Garrard has dealt with lower back pain before. It caused him to miss some practice time last season and even posed problems during workouts this summer.
His latest bout has him sidelined indefinitely.
Garrard's sore back kept him out of Jacksonville's scrimmage Saturday, allowing more repetitions for first-round draft pick Blaine Gabbert and third-stringer Luke McCown. But it also caused some concern as the Jaguars approach their first preseason game.
"I'm pretty sure everyone wants to see (Gabbert) anyway," Garrard said laughing.
Gabbert, the former Missouri standout, completed 12 of 27 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. His numbers could have been better, but rookie Jamar Newsome failed to hold onto a slightly high seam pass and Tiquan Underwood dropped a ball near the goal line.
"I thought he was pretty sharp," coach Jack Del Rio said of Gabbert. "My first impression was he handles himself well. We did some communication-failure issues. There were three of four different times he looked over and wasn't getting the call because I shut it off. He handled himself with poise, did a nice job, no real issues there. That was good for me to see."
McCown finished 13 of 18 for 136 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
Garrard, meanwhile, watched from the sideline along with four other starters: running back Maurice Jones-Drew, defensive end Aaron Kampman, defensive tackle Terrance Knighton and cornerback Derek Cox.
Garrard's back tightened up during practice Thursday. He limped off the field and hasn't done much since. Tests revealed no damage, and Del Rio is calling him "day to day."
Garrard's treatment includes stretching and getting massage and stimulation therapy, but he isn't sure when he will return to practice.
"I've had different back-type issues before, nothing ever too severe, nothing ever to really keep me out of anything," Garrard said. "But just something always there aggravating me, always kind of nagging. I just don't want to be one of those guys that when I'm done that's walking all limped over and can't stand up straight."
In hindsight, Garrard acknowledged there were things he could have done to prevent the tightness. He could have visited a massage therapist or a chiropractor during the offseason, but the NFL lockout didn't allow him to see specialists without incurring out-of-pocket expenses.
Even then, he's not sure it would have helped.
"There's some things you can control and some things you can't," Garrard said. "There's no way I really could control this. ... Most of the guys on the team will get a stiff back at times. I just think this one was a little more severe than just a normal stiff back."
Garrard threw for 2,734 yards last season, with 23 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions. He enjoyed five of the best eight games of his nine-year career, but the Jaguars want more consistency at football's most important position.
Jacksonville selected Gabbert with the 10th overall pick in April's draft. But coaches, teammates and front office personnel agree the best thing for the franchise would be to have Gabbert sit and learn behind Garrard at least for one season.
Gabbert was pleased with his debut.
"I thought I did pretty good, better than a rookie in my first scrimmage," Gabbert said. "Our offense looked good at times. There's always things you can work on."
Garrard hopes to be back in time for next week's exhibition game at New England.
"I definitely want to be out there," he said. "I never want to miss any time out there. Over my career, I haven't missed many games. I don't even like to miss practices. But it's just what it is. There's some things you can control and some things you can't. There's no way I really could control this."
Backup G/OT Kevin Haslem injured his right knee in the scrimmage. Del Rio said earlier indications are it's an MCL injury. ... Rookie WR Cecil Shorts missed the scrimmage because of a groin injury. ... Del Rio said Knighton, who arrived at camp more than 20 pounds overweight, is getting close to being cleared to practice. ... Attendance was 15,122.