Getting Gators’ players healthy key in bye week
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 2:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 2:47 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."
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 last week to start running and working out.
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.
The Gators were given Monday completely off to rest. They were scheduled to 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.
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."
Robbie Andreu is a Gainesville Sun staff writer.
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