David Garrard talks to reporters during the Jets open locker...

David Garrard talks to reporters during the Jets open locker room. (May 2, 2013) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Just two days after the Jets announced Mark Sanchez underwent season-ending shoulder surgery, the team welcomed back another quarterback: David Garrard.

Shortly before Thursday's practice, the Jets announced they have placed Garrard - who retired this past summer - on the exempt list for two games. After that time, the team can decide whether or not to activate him.

In the meantime, he is eligible to attend practices and meetings.

"I reached out to Mr. Idzik," Garrard said, referring to the call he placed to Jets general manager John Idzik. "He has given me another chance, so it's truly a blessing."

The Jets signed Garrard in March to a one-year, $1-million free-agent deal, but he was forced to call it quits two months later because of chronic knee swelling. But the 35-year-old quarterback said his knee now "feels great" after taking the summer off to "let my body heal."

"I'm sitting at home, watching games thinking, 'Why am I at home? Why I am doing this to myself?' I didn't want to have any regrets one day," said Garrard, who began training a couple of months ago.

His addition to the team likely spells the end of Brady Quinn's tenure in Florham Park. Quinn has been inactive on gameday since he arrived. Whether or not Garrard actually plays in a game may be a moot point, however. Though he was initially brought in this past offseason to compete with Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith, Garrard likely will serve as a mentor to Smith.

The Jets, of course, view this as a low-risk, high-reward move, considering the fact that they have two games to evaluate Garrard's physical condition.

Garrard took the 2011 season off in order to recover from surgery on a herniated disk in his back and signed as a backup quarterback with the Dolphins during the 2012 offseason. He was forced to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee that August and was cut by Miami less than a month later.

During his previous nine years in Jacksonville, Garrard threw for 16,003 yards, 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions. After the Jags drafted Blaine Gabbert in 2011, Garrard, an East Orange, N.J. native, was released five months later.

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