Notebook: UF dealing with flu


Florida defenders Dante Fowler, Jr. Leon Orr and Earl Okine team up to tackle South Carolina tailback Mike Davis during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Oct. 20. Orr will miss Saturday's game vs. Missouri because of the flu.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 4:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 4:54 p.m.

The flu bug has taken a little bit of a bite out of the Florida Gators this week.

Reserve defensive tackle Leon Orr was hospitalized earlier this week with the flu and will not play in Saturday's game against Missouri, UF coach Will Muschamp said Thursday. Several other players have been affected by the flu, including starting safety Matt Elam.

“Leon Orr will be out,” Muschamp said. “He has gotten really sick. He's going to be fine. He's got about a 72-hour deal. He had to go and get some fluid in him and things. He's going to be fine.

“There's been a bit of a bug going around. Matt Elam missed some time yesterday. He was down a little bit. He's fine. He's going to practice today. We had a couple Monday. I don't remember exactly who it was and I think two Tuesday. We've been hit pretty good this week.”

Muschamp said that other than in the case of Orr, the flu should not be a factor in Saturday's game.

“I would say it's a handful (of players who have been affected),” he said. “It hasn't been much. But we'll be fine.”

Two starters — offensive tackle Xavier Nixon and Buck linebacker/defensive end Lerentee McCray — could miss Saturday's game with injuries. Nixon is nursing a sore knee, while McCray is recovering from a sprained ankle.

“Xavier Nixon and Lerentee McCray are both questionable,” Muschamp said. “But I think when we get them out on the field today and move them around. .. I would expect both of them to play at this point unless something changes. I think both of them will be able to get out there and play. Other than that we should be good to go.”

Muschamp said if McCray can't go, true freshman Dante Fowler and sophomore Neiron Ball would share playing time at the Buck position.

Muschamp said Fowler has continued to progress.

“It's hard to play as a freshman in any situation, much less the SEC,” he said. “I think he's been very productive. You look at him and (defensive end) Jon Bullard and (linebacker) Antonio Morrison, all those guys have been very productive for true freshman. I've been very pleased with what they have been able to accomplish.”

Redshirt a possibility for Riggs

Muschamp said there have been discussions about applying for a redshirt year for true junior cornerback Cody Riggs, who has been out since fracturing his foot against Texas A&M in the second game of the season.

Riggs returned to practice last week, but has not regained all of his speed yet, Muschamp said.

“It's just one of those deals when you're dealing with a foot,” Muschamp said. “We feel like it's healed properly and now we're at the point in the season, all right, where are we at. Cody and I sat down on Tuesday. I talked to his family. Right now, probably would apply for a medical based on the time in the season left, but I told him I can't make any promises for the simple reason of injury.

“We still have a lot of the games to go. He's not as full speed as he has been, let's just say that. He's not playing as fast as he's capable of playing. I'm not going to put a player out there that's not going to play as well as he can play.

“It hasn't healed as fast as maybe we thought. We've got to just kind of continue to evaluate the situation. We've made no 100% decision yet at all. That's probably where we're heading.”

Not so fast, Steve

On the Dan Patrick radio show, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he thought No. 1 Alabama could beat some NFL teams, including the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Muschamp kind of chuckled at that idea.

“I would have a hard time seeing that,” Muschamp said. “The maturity of those guys, they are full-grown men playing in that league. The speed of the game when I left LSU to go to the Miami Dolphins was more than noticeable on the field. It's a grown man's league."

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