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Mincey will replace Harvey


David Garrard is back in at quarterback. Derrick Harvey is out at defensive end.

Those were the lead developments as the Jaguars began preparation for Sunday's game in Dallas.

Garrard passed post-concussion tests on Tuesday. Harvey failed a two-and-a-half year test that began with the belief Harvey would become the team's pass-rush star of the long-term future.

"I passed the test. I feel good. I haven't had any recurring symptoms," Garrard told reporters. The quarterback missed this past Sunday's game after sustaining a concussion in the first half of the Monday night game against the Titans.

Meanwhile, the news this week wasn't nearly as cheery for Harvey. Head Coach Jack Del Rio told reporters on Wednesday that Harvey will be replaced in the starting lineup this Sunday by Jeremy Mincey, a journeyman who has risen to the position of starting left defensive end through perseverance, belief in himself and hard work.

"Joe Cullen believes Mincey's earned the opportunity to be the starter this week," Del Rio said, referring to the team's defensive line coach. "He said, 'I feel I need to do this for the group right now.' Joe cares very much about his group. He wants them to earn it on the field."

Mincey will start at left defensive end, following a game in which Harvey did not appear on the final stats sheet for the third time this season. It'll mark the first-ever start for Mincey, a sixth-round pick by the Patriots in 2006 who spent time on the 49ers' practice squad before joining the Jaguars.

"Jeremy's a hard-charging guy. He's got a little bit of talent and he looks to maximize it on every play," Del Rio said.

The Jaguars traded up to make Harvey the eighth pick of the 2008 draft. He was selected to become the team's blind-side pass-rusher, but had to be moved to the run-stuffing left end spot along the way.

"I can't predict how he's going to handle it," Del Rio said of the demotion. "I know what I'd like to see. He should feel angry and he should channel that energy into a positive move."

Meanwhile, team morale was said to be positive despite a two-game losing streak that has left the Jaguars 3-4 and desperate to win a game that could become the tipping point in the team's season.

"It would be a deep hole to get out of," running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. "We're not out of it. We have to continue to play hard."

What are the positives as the Jaguars prepare to face a 1-5 Cowboys team that is the most disappointing team in the league this year?

"There aren't any positives. We're 0-2 in the last two weeks. We have to create positives and get the flow going again," Jones-Drew said.

"Before a bye week, you want to get a (win)," defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said. "Guys seem a little more focused to me today. We need a win."

Despite losses of 27 and 22 points in the last two games, Del Rio painted a picture of improvement.

"We're not seeing the repeat mistakes. There's growth. It's coming," Del Rio said. "We are beginning to see improvement and the fruits should be right around the corner."

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