Muschamp: Hargreaves 'zero issues'
Published: Friday, August 8, 2014 at 2:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 8, 2014 at 4:43 p.m.
A scuffle among Florida players at practice Thursday night was not a factor in All-SEC cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III's knee injury, coach Will Muschamp said Friday.
UF head coach Will Muschamp discusses player injuries.
Muschamp also said he knew immediately that the injury was not serious, even though fans who were present, and others following the practice on Twitter, were concerned that it could be.
Hargreaves bruised his knee in a knee-to-knee collision with a teammate earlier in drills, and the pain grew worse as he continued to practice, forcing him to leave the field moments after the scuffle.
An MRI later Thursday night confirmed what the trainers had told Muschamp on the practice field at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium, that Hargreaves' knee was just bruised and he would be day-to-day.
“I was told immediately it was a bone bruise,” Muschamp said. “The knee was stable and there were absolutely zero issues. Obviously in any situation when you deal with a joint, whether it's an ankle, a shoulder, a knee, an elbow, you're going to always get an MRI.
“But our trainer told me last night it was a bone bruise and he'll be day-to-day.”
Hargreaves underwent treatment Friday and will not practice Friday night.
Even though the skirmish had nothing to do with Hargreaves' injury, Muschamp said he's not going to tolerate fights among teammates during camp, or any other time.
“Well, I don't want them fighting on the field. If you fight in the game, you get kicked out,” he said. “I addressed it after practice. You had a young player, a freshman, who got a little excited. In those situations, you've got a bunch of guys trying to separate the situation. That's not something we tolerate.”
Muschamp was asked what his response will be if players do fight in practice.
“I'll just kick them out and move forward,” he said. “We have a lot of competition at a lot of positions, so there's a side of it that's a good thing. You want your guys to be aggressive. You want your guys to play with toughness, but you also want your guys to play smart and disciplined.
“There's a side of it that you understand is part of the game. I've been in 20 or so training camps, and I don't think there's not been one that's not had at least a little skirmish.”
Hargreaves was near the skirmish, but it had nothing to do with his injury.
With all the injuries the Gators accumulated last season, many of them in camp, UF fans in attendance were holding their collective breath after Hargreaves was taken off the field on a cart Thursday night.
“You don't ever want it to happen, but it's football, things happen, you move forward,” Muschamp said. “We're going to practice a certain way and do what's best to prepare this football team for the season and that's what we're going to do.”
Muschamp said the players and coaches can't be tentative in camp, worrying about the possibility of injuries.
“I can speak to what I've addressed the staff and our players with. That's that football is a rough game. In order to prepare yourself for the season, you need to have a good training camp,” he said. “Every year I've been at, when a guy has missed the majority of training camp, he did not have a good season.
“Football is a developmental game. You've got to get turns and reps and guys that miss a bunch of camp and miss that fundamental development for the season, they don't play well during the year, and I addressed that with our team. If you want to play, you've got to practice.
“Football is a tough game and injuries happen, that's part of it. We had our share last year. We've just got to move forward.”
Florida's young cornerbacks, including four true freshmen, will get more practice reps while Hargreaves is recovering.
“Everything happens for a reason, and those guys will get a bunch of reps,” Muschamp said. “Most of the scrimmage stuff Vernon wasn't going to do a whole lot anyway. As many turns and reps as Jalen Tabor and J.C. Jackson and all of those guys get, the better. Deiondre Porter has done some nice things, Quincy Wilson has done some nice things. They need a ton of reps.”
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