Getting UF players healthy key in bye week
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 at 5:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 24, 2012 at 5:14 p.m.
With a big assist from the bye week, the Florida Gators' long injury list is expected to be considerably shorter going into the Oct. 6 SEC showdown with LSU in The Swamp.
Most of the players who sat out last week's game or were injured against Kentucky are expected to be back for the LSU game, UF coach Will Muschamp said Monday.
Offensive tackle Chaz Green, defensive tackle Dominique Easley, fullback Trey Burton, outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins and offensive tackle Matt Patchan were held out of Saturday's game, while tight end Jordan Reed and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd were injured during the game.
“Chaz Green, Dominique Easley, Trey Burton and Jordan Reed should be fine for LSU, I think, based on the information I have,” Muschamp said. “How much they will do this week, we'll determine that as the week goes. But I think those guys should be fine.
“(Sharrif Floyd) should be fine. He's got a shoulder. He'll be all right. He's good to go.”
Green missed the past two games with a sprained ankle and Easley missed the UK game after spraining his knee in the second half at Tennessee, while Burton was sidelined Saturday by back spasms.
Reed sustained what Muschamp described as a “head injury” when he took an illegal high hit after catching a pass against the Wildcats. Floyd left the UK game with a shoulder injury, but returned.
Jenkins, the starting weakside linebacker and team leader, fractured his thumb in the Texas A&M game and underwent surgery the following week. There is a chance he could play against LSU with a cast on his hand.
“I'll know more later in the week. I don't right now,” Muschamp said. “I don't have the information right now. I think he sees the doctor Wednesday.”
Jenkins was cleared to start running and working out last week.
One injured player who will not be returning for the LSU game is Patchan, who will miss his fifth consecutive game with a strained pectoral muscle. Muschamp said he expects Patchan to play at some point this season.
“Again, we're evaluating him right now,” Muschamp said. “If we played this week, no. Probably not LSU. But maybe the week after. That's what I'm hoping based on a meeting with our medical staff yesterday.
“Hopefully, we'll get him some work next week. How healthy he'll be at that point, I don't know. He had a tear on the muscle. It's a painful injury and up front you've got to be able to use that to block.
“Rehab has gone well. He's worked extremely hard as far as that's concerned. We're just hoping to get some snaps. But he will play this year, yes.”
The Gators were given Monday completely off to rest. They will practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then have the weekend off. Muschamp said the first two days would be used for self-evaluation and to correct mistakes, then UF will start focusing on LSU on Thursday.
“We've got three huge days to improve,”he said. “They are opportunities for our team to get better. We met yesterday as a team, and I told our guys, starting with me all the way down, we all have room for improvement.
“Let's figure it out and let's be coachable and let's be understanding. Let's accentuate the negatives of our football team right now and understand what they are, and let's get better. Let's take this opportunity to get better.”
Muschamp said the timing of the early bye week is sort of a mixed blessing.
“Well, the obvious pros are the guys that are injured,” he said. “Get those guys back. That's a huge positive.
“I think we do have a lot of momentum right now as a football team. That's a negative (having a bye week). You feel good about going into another game.
“I could probably give you a list of very positive things and a list of very negative things. But at the end of the day, the result next Saturday will determine how good of an off week it was for us. That's how I view it.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.