Gators’ injury list continues to grow

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Florida defensive lineman Jordan Sherit (17) gets a tackle for loss on Texas A&M running back Trayveon Williams during Saturday's game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Sherit suffered a hip injury later in the game. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

One of the big benefits of a bye week is the time off it gives some injured players a chance to heal and return. But that’s not really working out for the Florida Gators during their current open date.

The injury list is longer than ever.

“It is what it is,” UF coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday. “I’m sure there’s not a coach in America who hasn’t been through something like this. And yet, at the same time, the guys that are here, they played really hard.

“They’ve been playing hard. That’s all good and dandy, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to win. We’ve got to get better with those guys this week and put a plan together.”

The Gators will be moving forward without senior defensive end and team leader Jordan Sherit, who underwent hip surgery earlier this week and is out for the remainder of the season. He was injured in the second half of the loss to Texas A&M this past Saturday.

“His surgery went as well as could be expected,” McElwain said. “Absolutely, (he’s out for the season). That’s a bad deal, now.”

Multiple other injured players will not be able to practice this week and their status is uncertain for the Oct. 28 Georgia game in Jacksonville.

In that category are wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (high ankle sprain), safety Nick Washington (shoulder), safety Quincy Lenton (knee), defensive end Jabari Zuniga (ankle), offensive tackle Martez Ivey (knee), safety Chauncey Gardner Jr. (ankle) and slot receiver Kadarius Toney (shoulder).

Washington, Zuniga and Toney missed last Saturday’s game. Cleveland played a couple of plays early, but then left and did not return. Cleveland also missed the LSU game.

The status of true freshman wide receiver James Robinson also remains uncertain. He has undergone several tests for a possible heart condition and is still awaiting results on some.

The school announced Wednesday that his genetic testing results will not be available until late November at the earliest, so there is no chance he will be cleared to return during the regular season.

The injuries, coupled with the nine players under suspension, have left the Gators with a depleted roster. More than 20 percent of the roster was missing for the loss to Texas A&M. It could look similar for the Georgia game in less than two weeks, depending on who does and doesn’t return next week.
For the players who are healthy, they’re spending the bye week trying to improve in certain areas. On the offense, the focus is on being more consistent, especially at quarterback, where Feleipe Franks has been struggling.

“I think he’s gotten better at some things,” McElwain said. “As things come up, then he’s able to see and learn. I think he’s dealing with some of the exterior things that come along with the position. It’s a growing thing for him.

“This is a good week for him to keep working on what we’re doing, and really, the guys around him understanding what they need to do to be successful at that position as well.”

Franks said he’s using the bye week to reflect and correct.

“If you’re a quarterback, for a bye week you really get time to just kind of review what’s going on this past half of the season,” he said. “Really, just evaluate yourself, and let the coaches evaluate you and see what you can improve on in the second half of the season. That’s all I’ve been doing, getting better. That’s all you can do.”

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or robbie.andreu@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.


Up next

Who: Florida (3-3, 3-2 SEC) vs. No. 3 Georgia (7-0, 4-0)

When: 3:30 p.m. Oct. 28

Where: EverBank Field, Jacksonville

TV: CBS

Radio: 103.7-FM, AM-850


40 COMMENTS

  1. Really wish they would take the Knuckle Head Nine to the bus station with one-way tickets home. Need to boot those creeps and free up the scholarships.

  2. I’ve been watching the Gators for 49 years and don’t recall missing this amount of players including the probation years. If you think it doesn’t matter ask any coach their opinion. The whiners would say it doesn’t matter or it wouldn’t have impacted SOS, Saban, or Myer. Jimbo Fisher is a National Champion Coach he loses one player and team goes in the tank. Dabo loses his QB and loses to the Cuse.
    Our players are playing extremely hard for Gator Nation and their coach. Sure you can watch any game and pick it apart nobody has ever coached a perfect game. It is up to players and coaches to overcome any mistae that happens but in the end thee limiting factor will be your roster. My favorite moment of the TAMU game is when Mac was going biistic on the sideline and Freddie Swain comes up and puts his hand on his shoulder trying to calm Mac down. In that one moment yu could see how much his players care for him.

      • Mac and Nuss need to go and i’ve been watching Gator football for 57 years heartaches and all, the only reason he(Mac) won’t be let go is recruiting they would lose most if not all they have, he hasn’t been dealt a bad hand there should be some improvement by now and there isn’t and it’s clearly a Coaching problem starting with him, heck the only time i’ve seen Mac go ballistic was when he thought LDR was hit from be hind and hurt, man has no fire at all, please let him go after the season pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease

        • Lighten up Francis! Nobody likes to see the Gators lose but if you think missing all of those guys is not contributing to this up and down year I think you’re mistaken.

          If we’re in the same spot next year with a full roster I might agree with you. But until then, if watching pains you that much don’t do it.

    • Well said Glen! It is remarkable how well the team is playing despite having a freshman quarterback and over 20 percent of the roster out. Many other teams would have folded by now and yet this team is playing their butt off. That’s a testament to coaching first and foremost.

        • Imagine how much less negativity there’d be if people weren’t so clueless and lived in reality and stopped blaming the coaches for EVERYTHING.

          • so it’s all the players fault huh joe? they don’t make the big money the coaches do so i’d say the onus is on the coaches, who recruit, trains,instructs and teaches coaches, the only thing i don’t blame coaches for is the choices these young guys make, that is clearly personal choices they make and they should be held accountable for them

    • I enjoy your positive comments Glen. I feel the same way. Better days for our Gators aren’t too far away if we could start drinking the kool-aid and help the new kids want to come here. Thanks Glen and work ‘em silly Gators!!

  3. Excuse every year since Mac got here same things we heard all throughout Muschamp years.

    Wonder what the excuse will be next year when the offense is again at the bottom of the SEC and 8-4 is the new normal at UF.

    We should be competing for championships every year reloading not rebuilding.

    • Todd I feel ya. Too bad we don’t have to wait until next year. We are already there. Since the beginning of this decade, Florida Football is 59-37. That is a .614 winning percentage. Unfortunately 8-4 would actually be an an improvement, at .667. Florida’s winning percentage from 2010 through 2017 (to date) is only a shade better than its percentage under Doug Dickey (.578), and it’s virtually identical to the probation-riddled 1985-89 period (.617). Unfortunately, being a .600 team has been more the rule than the exception over UF’s history, save the legendary run of Spurrier, and Meyer’s lightning in a bottle. In effect, we are not that much different than an LSU or an Auburn. A handful of great years, surrounded by years of mediocrity.

      But word is we are an awesome basketball school….

    • Todd do you even take into account the depleted roster lacking of any kind’ve offensive talent that Mac took over? Do you understand how recruiting works and how hard it is for an unknown coach to earn trust and start building depth quickly? Do you understand what injuries and suspensions can do to an already thin team? Do you take into account FSU loses ONE player and has the same amount of losses with a far deeper and more talented roster? Do you take into account Mac hasn’t had one season yet where the Qb who started the season was able to finish it, or that the last 2 seasons he’s lost massive amounts of starters? Excuse or reality? I guess it depends on what type of person you are and whether you actually live in reality or you expect the impossible. Seems you expect our coach to perform miracles that some of the greatest coaches in the game (Fisher, Swinney) have already proven they can’t even do by losing only 1 player, let alone 20% of the entire team. But yeah it’s just excuses, right?

      • Joe, for the whiners, it’s all about instant gratification and blaming someone for a problem. They don’t understand investing and patience. They don’t understand it involves a process and time to solve problems and sometimes it is what it is…a situation that is no ones fault. Sometimes, you are dealt a crappy hand that you have make the most of. They don’t think things through and can’t think past the next move. Chess is something they stare at rather a strategy game that requires thinking several moves ahead. They are Gidiots.

  4. The season was probably already in the tank with the loss of the knuckleheads. More than a couple of those players would have seen action with the growing injury list. You know the linebackers would have been out there. I do think it shows a lot of grit with what we have still standing, that they do not give up. These last 2 losses were winnable with a couple of breaks and some better play calling. I expect a good performance against the Dawgs, and maybe be in a position to win late. Obviously we will not dominate but if we can prevent them from dominating, well heck who knows. I do think play calling should be geared to setting up our field goal kicker even well before the score gets too lopsided and it becomes too late. Scoring 3 at a time against that potent defense can be a great lift. The O-Line is improved and playing hard. Probably need to go to the sideline slants and screen passes that are legit screen passes. The freshman running back is playing lights out and Perrine is coming on well. We get Toney back… we need to go wildcatting more and give him some passes to complete in short plays. All opps fear and respect what he can do with his legs…..Well there’s my 2 cents……Go Gators, without championships and possible no bowl this season…..I will still be back and hope Coach Mac is too…..

    • Well I was one of the naysayers who thought we would lose by 30. So to that extent – well done players. It is just sad that it has gotten to the point that not getting crushed is a moral victory in a game we should have won. The Gator offense is both predictable and inept. The opponent’s defense need only stack the box and dare us to throw. The fault is with either Franks or the coaches play calling, I tend to think it is the play calling. But not being able to get the offense into field goal range in the fourth quarter was a crime of epic proportions.

      We may be down numbers but there are no excuses when your offense fails in the last quarter.

      • The team can only go as far as the QB takes them. Just ask FSU and Clemson. The coaches are calling good plays as evidenced by the many replays during the last game showing WRs open all over the field and Franks flat out missing them. They’re well aware of Franks’ deficiencies as is every other person that actually watches them play, so what sense does it make to call anything other than screen passes or anything over 5 yards? All Franks is going to do is lock onto his primary receiver and probably throw a pick or the play will take too long to develop and he’ll scramble out of a clean pocket, cause he’s a mental case who feels pressure that isn’t there, and then run out of bounds instead of throwing it away and taking a 4 yard loss. Everyone thinks Franks is being handcuffed by the coaches not realizing it’s actually the coaches being handcuffed by Franks. You can try to blame coaching for his lack of development, but the coaches can only do so much before the player has to actually absorb it and perform. Franks isn’t absorbing anything and making mistakes even a pop warner player knows you shouldn’t be making. Some players are sponges and respond to coaching quickly, Franks is not one of those players.

        • Best review of Franks abilities I’ve seen. The scrambling from the pocket too early and locking onto your primary are things rookies tend to deal with until the game slows down, but running out of bounds instead of throwing it away? That combined with the fact he doesn’t look an ounce more comfortable yet, I’m starting to think he just isn’t going to develop for us. That’s a shame with his arm strength and deep ball accuracy.

  5. No depth due to Mac’s poor recruiting first two years. He definitely thought this would be an easier gig than it turned out to be. Another poor choice by Foley, picking a coach who was wasn’t ready for the big time. We backed into Atlanta the last two years.

    • Yeah cause top recruits are so eager to play for an unknown coach from CSU instead of playing for championship coaches like Meyer, Saban, and Fisher, right? Mac sucks cause he couldn’t beat out those all time recruiters and immediately build depth by convincing all the top recruits to trust him and a program coming off 10 wins the last 2 seasons. Hilarious!! For a top educational institution like UF, it’s shocking how many clueless people litter this fan base.

      • You nailed it brother. I don’t know which group of knuckleheads is more infuriating… the 9 idiots who torpedoed the season with their selfish and criminal choices, or the morons among us in Gator Nation with no understanding of college football reality.

    • Mac recruited very well considering the circumstances. His classes have ranked higher every year. He has brought balance and depth to the team. Unfortunately, the depth and balance has been depleted with the suspensions and injuries. It takes time for any new coach to build relationships with the recruits and their coaches. Since he is from the West coast, he was further disadvantaged because recruits and high school coaches didn’t know who he was.

  6. Playing calling and special teams need coaching changes. I only see the Gators being favored in two of the remaining games so it will get worse before it gets better. We were in ATL last two years so we were competing for championships. Unfortunately lack of roster talent combined with the above referenced issues have prevented us from winning one.

  7. This has been the normal for the last several years, by the time the FSU game rolls around, half the team is on the IR, 9 suspensions only add to the problem, especially losing your top WR and RB, where would most schools be with issues like that?
    Georgia 52 Gators 13

    • I am not so sure Scarlett is our best running back…he may have been the most experienced…But I think Malik Davis is our best running back followed closely by Perine…when and if he comes back will probably be 3rd string… we aren’t losing these games because of our running game …that’s for sure…I do think Calloway is our best wide receiver followed closely by Cleveland …although, I do think we may have lost the TAM because of not having our 2 best receivers for the game…Our biggest concern is our QB Franks…he just simply can’t see the entire field …he locks in and waits too long on his primary receiver to get open…we need to try something new at QB…being a leader in the locker room is a lot different than being a leader during the game…UF 31 UG 21

        • Nobody gave Syracuse nor Iowa state a chance either. UGA is a good team but what will be their mental state going to Jax? Either they think all we have to do is show up or how can we lose to them this year. There have been many times in the last 5-6 years that they were by far the better team on paper. It will depend on the play calling and the defensive play to stop those RBs. We beat them with Harris at QB. Even Muschump beat them. Remember that they have a true freshman QB as well who has started some games but has never played in Jax. He like Franks and Del Rio has had good games when the running game was working. This should be an interesting game. If we let them jump on us at the beginning it will get ugly early. We may lose but in this game you never know.

          • Exactly, Georgia has yet to prove they can win a game with their freshman’s arm. If the Gators can stop the running game and put pressure on the QB, it’s not a guarantee they win at all. Stopping the running game is a very tall task, but I like our D line’s chances more than anyone else they’ve played so far. Plus they have a huge monkey on their back with a 6-21 record over the last 27 years that puts a lot of pressure on them.

  8. Holy crap that makes 19. I’m pretty sure 2013 topped off at 17. I’m genuinely impressed they played LSU and aTm that close. There are several names in those 19 that are worth a big play that gets the Gators in FG range one extra time at some point during LSU and aTm. Scarlett, Callaway, Cleveland, Toney — have any one of those names on the roster for the last two games and you probably have 3 more points. I’m still unsure about Nuss but I’m proud of this team.

    • Anyone who expected much out of this season with a QB who has never taken a college snap in his life was living in a dream world. It’s absolutely shocking that people are so up in arms about 3 losses after taking out 20% of the team on top of it. Far too many Gator fans live so far out of reality that it’s shocking. Watch what happens to Georgia next season when 90% of their starting roster, who are seniors leave after this season.

  9. The article doesn’t speculate as to how many of the injured players will be back for this game. They will have an extra week of healing up. Any conjecture on this subject?

  10. C’mon people, surely we’ll lose by 13-14 TD’s. There is no way we have a chance up there. I mean, aren’t we the worst excuse for a football team this state has ever seen? Mac’s recruiting has been ranked in the 40’s or 50’s…right? I mean, what a sorry ass recruit Franks was. What was he, #78 in the country?

    I guess it’s because I’m old and been through so many up and down years as a Gator that I just roll with it. Back before the intronet when all you heard was what the guy sitting next to you at the game had to say or the weekly radio show it didn’t seem that bad. But having to read the venom spewing when we are down is downright depressing. How many of you have been to about 40 slobberknockers in Jax? Oh, how many times we were supposed to get clobbered only to pull off the unthinkable. And who knows, this just might be one of them. But nawww…from I been readin’ here we aint got a shot in hell!
    Damn, what I’d give to be an Iowa St. fan with all that tradition.

  11. Let’s look at what we do have instead of what we don’t have for the big Georgia game.
    Our O Line is better than theirs. Malik Davis should be our counter to Nick Chubb. Perine should be our counter to Sony Michele. We should throw to our Tight ends more and open up space for our RB’s. If Tyrie Cleveland returns that’s gravy and we should throw over the top to him the way Missouri did vs. Georgia which kept them near even in their first half.
    Let’s get Franks to use his legs more, along with Toney, and break some long runs.
    A jet sweep or two worked last week and will work again.
    We need to give Eddie Pinero 4-5 shots at field goals in this game. We need to get to their 40 yard line to do this.
    If we can keep our offense on the field for half the snaps, we will keep our D fresher and we can keep this game close and even pull it out.
    This is what we do have available and it should be our strategy to win this game and turn our season around.

  12. This is McElwain’s third year and he still does not have a SEC caliber QB. Next year with a freshman?
    I think not. Sorry but I see no better team this year than what I saw in 2015. Hate to say it but the SEC East now goes through GA. and I really do not like GA. UF could be the 4th or 5th best team in the state of FL. which will hurt recruiting. Anyway McElwain will be around for the next two years. The new AD will not make any changes and UF’s new Pres. is an Ivy League guy so expect more of the same.

  13. The players have been playing hard. Not always smart (Franks), but the effort is there despite the depleted roster and negative fan base. Coach Mac has been able to hold this team together despite the player losses due to stupidity and injuries. That said, bad luck is really not an excuse. My old coach used to say, luck helps you over a ditch if you jump hard enough. Basically, you make your own luck, good or bad. I don’t think the coaching has been good enough to overcome the challenges they have had this year to the roster. Something has to change. Conditioning, special teams, and offense all need significant changes. Our special teams is really been poor overall this year. Play calling and game management are things Coach Mac can control and I just don’t see any adjustments on the field being made that are helping our chances of winning. I am not giving up on Coach Mac yet, but, c’mon man!

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