Garrard Returns to Practice

David Garrard was back at practice Monday for the first time since he underwent knee surgery, and while he's working to get himself back to 100 percent and ready to play, he also has to be wondering whether his time with the Dolphins is nearing an end.

The Dolphins are carrying four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and it's highly unlikely that's going to last very long. It was unusual for any team to have four quarterbacks even when the "third quarterback" rule was in effect, but now it's almost unfathomable.

Ryan Tannehill obviously is going nowhere, and at this point one would have to think the Dolphins kept Pat Devlin with the idea of developing him.

That means that either Garrard or Matt Moore figure to be released or traded soon — perhaps even before Sunday's opener at Houston. Remember that the contracts of vested veterans becomes guaranteed if they're on the roster on opening day.

So Garrard is left to wonder about his immediate future.

"They haven't said anything," Garrard said, referring to the Dolphins. "I honestly don't even know what's going on. I know I'm here right now and that's all I'm going to be focused on."

Heading into his ninth year in the NFL, Garrard isn't about to lose sleep about his future.

He actually said his situation was tougher last year when he was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars days before the regular season opener.

"I was definitely tougher with a team I'd been with for nine or 10 years," Garrard said. "To have to leave that team, that was definitely tough. You develop so many relationships in that area and I've already developed a lot here. My only thing is hopefully my name is on the 53-man roster when it's game day. If not, I've just got to be ready to do something somewhere else."

It's been a roller coaster of a summer for Garrard, who appeared well on his way to winning the starting quarterback job because he started feeling discomfort in his knee, leading to the knee procedure he had the day after the preseason opener against Tampa Bay.

The knee injury played a big role in the Dolphins giving the starting job to Tannehill.

"It's been definitely different," Garrard said. "This is my 11th year being out of college, I haven't through this kind of situation before. But I think with all the knowledge and wisdom I have of this game, nothing is really new. Nothing is really out of the ordinary.

"I'm ready for everything. There's still enough teams in this league to play for if it is not here. But I'm excited about here. I'm excited about being on this team and hopefully I'll still be here. But if not, that's just how the game goes."

Taking part in practice was a good first step for Garrard, but he says he's still not completely healthy.

"I felt pretty good," he said. "I started out there at practice just doing individual drills, just trying to get my legs under me. My knee still isn't 100 percent, but it feels pretty good to move around. Just as practice went on and just got longer and longer, I just started putting some ice on there so that nothing kind of flares up with any swelling or anything. I'm just trying to be smart, as smart as I can without delaying myself too much.

"But I'm not going to force myself to do anything to hurt myself for the long run, if it's here or somewhere else. You've just got to be smart. The team and the training staff has been working with me great. Nobody has made me feel any unwanted or unneeded pressure. I'm just going to keep doing my thing."

Garrard said he feels no pain in the knee but doesn't have full strength yet.

How quickly he gets back to 100 percent eventually could play a part in the direction the Dolphins choose at quarterback.

But Garrard says he has no clue which way the team is leaning.

"I just continue to read everybody's blogs and everything that's online and I try to let you guys come up with the decision," Garrard said. "That's where I fall, leaning my head toward you guys. So write some more good stuff so I can feel better."

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