Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich, who was off to a sizzling start in leading his team to a 5-3 record, will be lost at least four weeks -- perhaps the rest of the season -- with a partically torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his left knee, a Jaguars source said.
The injury is not as severe as a torn anterior-cruciate ligament, but it takes time to heal, which is why Leftwich could be gone for the season.
Leftwich will be re-examined Monday and though no surgery has been scheduled, it has not been ruled out, those sources said.
Leftwich suffered the injury in the second quarter of the Jaguars' 20-6 loss to the Houston Texans Sunday. He left for two plays, but returned to finish the game. He underwent X-rays at Reliant Stadium, and then had the MRI Monday, which showed the problem with the PCL.
With Leftwich out, David Garrard, a talented backup, will take over as the starter. Garrard has started one game in his career, back in his rookie season in 2002, but there was some sentiment in Jacksonville he should have been the starter to open this season.
At 6-feet-1, 244 pounds, Garrard is much more mobile than Leftwich and has a stronger arm, but Leftwich is more advanced as a pocket passer.
In eight games this year, Leftwich completed 177 of 273 passes for 1,891 yards and nine touchdowns. His passer rating was 85.3 with a completion percentage of 64.8.