Notebook: Another day, another injured Gator


Florida running back Mack Brown runs upfield with offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (70) against LSU during the first half in Baton Rouge on Oct. 12.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.

The Florida Gators have lost yet another offensive starter to an injury. The latest to go down is left tackle D.J. Humphries, who sprained his knee in practice, UF coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday.

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Florida running back Mack Brown runs upfield with offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (70) against LSU during the first half in Baton Rouge on Oct. 12.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun

“D.J. Humphries sprained his MCL at practice Monday and he’ll probably miss two to four weeks,” Muschamp said on the SEC coaches’ teleconference. “He’s a quick recovery guy.”

Muschamp said it is not the same knee that Humphries sprained in the Toledo game. Humphries came out of that game, but was able to play on a limited basis the following week against Miami.

Muschamp said Humphries will be replaced in the lineup by Nebraska transfer Tyler Moore, who moves over from right tackle, where he has started five games this season. Stepping in at right tackle will be junior college transfer Trenton Brown, who will be making his first start.

The injury to Humphries comes at a time when the Gators are almost desperate to improve their pass protection after giving up six sacks in the loss to Missouri.

“They need to improve,” Muschamp said of the offensive line. “(Georgia’s) got some guys, certainly, Jordan Jenkins, who certainly can pressure the quarterback. (Defensive tackle) Garrison Smith does a good job inside of getting a push, so they’ve got some guys that can rush the passer. We need to protect better than we have, that's for sure."

Muschamp said starting outside linebacker Ronald Powell, who missed the Missouri game with a sprained ankle, returned to practice Tuesday and will play in Saturday’s game against Georgia.

“He’s good to go,” Muschamp said. “I think he can give us some quality snaps.”

Muschamp said starting defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (head injury) and outside linebacker Darrin Kitchens (shoulder) also are back at practice and will be available Saturday.

Quarterback Tyler Murphy, who has been nursing a sprained right shoulder, is throwing again at practice and Muschamp said he’s good to go for Saturday’s game as well.

Comparison questions begin

With true freshman tailback Kelvin Taylor making his first start on the same field where he father starred in the NFL, questions asking to compare him to his dad (Fred Taylor) are going to pop up this week. One did Wednesday on the SEC coaches’ teleconference.

“Well, again, I don't think that's fair for Kelvin to compare him to his father,” Muschamp said. “He's his own player, and he's a really good football player. He's got natural running instincts. He's a one-cut runner. He gets the ball north and south.

“He's a guy that's got some special ability, but the thing that's really struck me as we move forward in the season is him doing a better job of protection and some of the things you've got to do at the running back position besides running the ball. He's worked really hard off the field on those things and I'm really proud of him."

Playing time for Ivie, Bostwick?

Muschamp said the coaching staff is considering pulling the redshirts off two more true freshmen this week — defensive tackles Joey Ivie and Jay-nard Bostwick.

“Joey Ivie and Jay-nard Bostwick have done a nice job,” Muschamp said. “There’s a possibility of them playing Saturday. Just to rotate more guys in there, stay fresher and play blocks better to give our linebackers a chance. We had too many free runners on our linebackers (in the loss to Missouri), and it’s just difficult to play and fill holes when we’re not playing blocks well up front.”

The coaching staff has talked with Bostwick and Ivie about burning their redshirts, and they apparently have given the go-ahead.

“(Bostwick) wants to play. I think all our guys want to play,” defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. “They come here with the intent of playing (as freshmen). We recruit those types of guys that want to play as freshmen.

“Obviously, for various reasons, some guys do, some don't. It's never all positive or negative. It just it what it is. So he's continuing to prepare in practice and he's getting better and better. And I think his time will come."

Freshman LB coming on

True freshman linebacker Jarrad Davis, a starter on special teams, saw his first significant playing time on defense in the Missouri game and will get more snaps on defense in upcoming games, Durkin said.

“He hadn’t had a ton (of playing time) on defense leading up to that point, but on special teams he’s been an elite player, playing in all phases,” Durkin said. “He’s got a great career, a bright future, ahead of him. He’s learning the defense better and doing better in practice. He’ll continue to play more on defense.”

Davis obviously has impressed junior linebacker Michael Taylor.

“He’s good. He will hit you. He can cover. He can do all of the above,” Taylor said. “I really like Jarrad. I know the coaches really do, too. He’s good. He’s good now. I don’t like when people say he’s going to be good. He’s good now. Just keep watching him. That’s all I’ve got to say.”

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