UF reduces Morrison's suspension


Florida's linebacker Antonio Morrison's suspension has been reduced.

Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 at 12:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 at 5:05 p.m.

Heading into Saturday’s opening game, the Florida Gators have lost another starter, but could be regaining two the following week for the Miami game.

The latest casualty is starting right offensive tackle Chaz Green, who sustained a torn labrum last Tuesday and is out for the season, UF coach Will Muschamp announced Monday. Green is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday.

While the Gators have lost Green, they are picking up two starters for the Miami game — tailback Matt Jones and suspended middle linebacker Antonio Morrison.

Muschamp said Jones continues to recover from a viral infection that has sidelined him for a month. Muschamp also announced Monday that he is reducing Morrison’s two-game suspension to one game, meaning he will return next week.

Morrison was suspended by Muschamp for two games following his second arrest this summer. But the second charge against Morrison (barking at a police dog) was dropped only a few days later.

“After a thorough review of Antonio Morrison’s situation and how he has handled his punishment, I’m going to suspend him for this game only,” Muschamp said. “I just don’t feel like his actions warranted a two-game suspension.

“I think he’s remorseful about the whole situation. We’ve moved forward. Guys make mistakes and have poor judgment at times. I’m just disappointed with how the whole night was handled.”

Morrison has been practicing with the team since the second week of preseason camp.

One starter who has not been able to practice yet is Jones. But that could change any day, Muschamp said.

“Matt Jones continues to do well,” he said. “I certainly think he’ll be available next week. He’s getting some blood work done today. As we work through it, unless we have some sort of setback, I certainly think that’s going to happen.

“He’s running, cutting and lifting. We haven’t put pads on him yet and he hasn’t been out in the heat. They’re just worried about a relapse from a standpoint of coming back too early, and we’re waiting on the blood work. He looks great.”

When Jones returns, he’ll be running behind a new right tackle.

With Green out, the Gators will be missing two starters on the offensive line for Saturday’s game against Toledo. Left guard Jon Halapio missed all of camp with a partially torn pectoral muscle and is not expected back until the Sept. 21 Tennessee game.

“Really disappointing news with Chaz Green,” Muschamp said. “Chaz was playing his best football. He was playing extremely well. He certainly had solidified himself at the right tackle spot. Disappointing news. Disappointing for him, but that’s part of the game there.”

Nebraska transfer Tyler Moore, who was slated to start in Halapio’s spot at right guard, is now the starter at right tackle, while Kyle Koehne will start at right guard Saturday.

“We do have depth on the offensive line,” Muschamp said. “I’m still feeling good at right tackle with Tyler Moore and Trenton Brown. Tyler took all the reps (there) during the spring when Chaz was out with the ankle (injury).

“We still feel pretty good about our situation (on the line). When (Halapio) comes back, that gives you nine guys who you feel comfortable about as far as playing experience. … That’s why you recruit. You have injuries on the offensive line.”

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.

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