Byron Leftwich is listed as "doubtful" on the Jaguars' official injury report, which means Leftwich is probable to be the team's "third quarterback" for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.
"It's been recommended that he not try to push it and play this week," coach Jack Del Rio said of Leftwich's prognosis following the quarterback's visit to Dr. James Andrews this past Monday. "If he's available, it would be as a 'third quarterback.'"
That means David Garrard will get his second consecutive start. This past Sunday, Garrard led the Jaguars to a 23-17 overtime win over the Detroit Lions by throwing a game-winning, 36-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith.
Garrard's performance – 19 of 36 for 198 yards, two touchdowns and an 87.5 passer rating – immediately made him a candidate to attract an offseason trade. Another such performance this Sunday would only serve to deepen that attraction.
"Another game, do what I can do to get a win for my team," Garrard said of his approach this week. "It definitely gives me some confidence that I can make plays in this offense," he added of quarterbacking the Jaguars to the win over Detroit.
"We look for the same thing. We're not asking David to carry the team. We're asking for him to play a role within the offense," Del Rio said.
At 6-3, the Jaguars are tied with the Indianapolis Colts for first place in the AFC South, and the Jaguars will probably need a win this Sunday to maintain a share of the division lead. Just as importantly, the Jaguars need to beat the Titans for tie-breaking purposes. The second tie-breaker is division record and the Jaguars currently trail the Colts by one game in the loss column. The first tie-breaker is head to head, but the Jaguars and Colts split their two-game series.
This Sunday's game also represents the Jaguars' most intense rivalry. With a win, the Jaguars would sweep the two teams' season series for the first time since 1997, when the Titans were the Oilers. A sweep, of course, would officially end the Titans' domination of the Jaguars.
"It's a rivalry game. That's how it feels for me," defensive tackle John Henderson said. Henderson played collegiately at Tennessee.
Henderson's defensive tackle counterpart, Marcus Stroud, underwent an MRI exam on his left knee on Tuesday and Del Rio was relieved that no damage was discovered. Stroud suffered a knee sprain in the second half of the game against Detroit.
"Everything we thought going in was verified; no structural damage. The swelling is way down today. We anticipate having him for Sunday," Del Rio said of Stroud.
The Titans may have quarterback Steve McNair back in the starting lineup. McNair suffered a bruised sternum while being tackled by Stroud during the two teams' first meeting on Sept. 26. McNair is listed as "questionable" on the Titans' injury report.
It is an injury report that includes wide receiver Tyrone Calico, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, offensive tackle Brad Hopkins, and safeties Lance Schulters and Tank Williams as "out." Running back Chris Brown, linebacker Rocky Calmus, defensive end Carlos Hall, tight end Erron Kinney and offensive tackle Fred Miller are "questionable."
"Playing well in your division has never been more important. We're hopeful the crowd is there in big numbers and ready to support us," Del Rio said.