David Garrard says his back is healthy and he’s ready to play

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David Garrard is a long shot to beat out Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill in the Dolphins’ three-man quarterback competition, but as he competes for the job in training camp, he says his back injury won’t be an issue.

Garrard, who had surgery for a herniated disk and didn’t play at all in 2011 after the Jaguars released him just before the start of the season, said he struggled through a rough few months immediately following the surgery but is now in good shape again.

“I was bad,” Garrard told the Sun-Sentinel. “I could barely get in and out of the chair for two and a half, three months. . . . Finally, around halfway through January, I was looking like an athlete again.”

Garrard won’t know until the preseason how his back holds up when he takes a hit from a 300-pound defensive lineman, but he said that during the Dolphins’ recent minicamp he got through everything without trouble.

“I could feel my body kind of get jarred around a little bit, but I was fine,” Garrard said. “I’m not worried about any recurrences, because the surgery is healed. My problem was just back spasm. I haven’t had any issues with that since.”

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin thinks Garrard is ready to go.

“The guy can still throw the football very well,” Philbin said of Garrard. “I think his command of the offense is good.”

If Garrard is looking as good as he and Philbin say, he may not be such a long shot to win the quarterback competition after all.