David Garrard to have back surgery

Updated: October 17, 2011, 9:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

David Garrard has a herniated disk and is going to schedule back surgery this week, he told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. The Oakland Raiders had reached out to the free-agent quarterback in the wake of Jason Campbell's broken collarbone but Garrard informed the team that he is not available.

"The Raiders were in contact with my agent, Al Irby, last night and he was straight with them about my back problem, that I also was having a second opinion today. So it's disappointing because I wanted to play but my doctor says this surgery won't prevent me from playing next year," Garrard told ESPN.

Garrard said he has "lost a lot of feeling in my lower left leg and even my left foot has gone dead on me."

"I've been trying to manage this going back to training camp but all the exercises and therapy, plus getting some anti-inflammatory treatment, was just masking the bigger problem of a herniated disk. I was in so much pain a week ago Sunday that I went to the emergency room. I got an injection then to calm things down but I've actually been laying on the floor because I haven't been able to find a comfortable position.

"The doctor said this is something I probably should have dealt more aggressively with four or five weeks ago. It went from my back to to my hamstring to my calf to my foot, to the point where I couldn't even plant on it when I was working out recently."

Garrard told Mortensen he had been in touch with doctors from his former team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, but acknowledged that he had signed a standard document stating that he was healthy when he was released on Sept. 6, even though back problems had caused him to miss several training camp practices and one preseason game.

The document is written to protect a team from any potential injury grievances and, in Garrard's case, allows a player to proceed as an unrestricted free agent.

"I did (sign the document), thinking it was just my leg and the pain wasn't so severe so I could fight through it," said Garrard. "I didn't how bad my pain would eventually get."

Free agent Josh McCown also has been contacted by Oakland, with Campbell expected to miss at least four weeks and as many as 10, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Campbell said he will have surgery on his injury Monday and that if everything goes right he could be back in six weeks. A source told ESPN.com's Bill Williamson on Sunday that Campbell is expected to be out for the remainder of the season.

Meanwhile, a source familiar with the team's thinking told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday that the Raiders were "trying hard" to land quasi-retired Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. However, the source also told Yahoo! that it was doubtful Bengals owner Mike Brown would trade Palmer. Brown has been staunch in his public belief that Palmer has retired from the NFL and has said on multiple occasions he has no plans to deal the disgruntled signal-caller.

The Denver Post also reported Monday that the Denver Broncos would be willing to trade demoted quarterback Kyle Orton to the Raiders for a draft pick if the Raiders were interested.

Campbell got injured late in the first half of Oakland's 24-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday when he landed hard on his shoulder at the end of a scramble.

He was replaced by Kyle Boller, who struggled in his first action of the season. The only other quarterback on Oakland's roster is rookie Terrelle Pryor, who was officially activated Monday after a five-game suspension and one-week roster exemption.

Campbell has completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 1,170 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions this season. Campbell is in the final year of his contract.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, ESPN.com AFC West blogger Bill Williamson and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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