Gators injury list continues to grow
Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 3:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at 3:55 p.m.
Florida’s defensive front seven could be missing as many as four starters against Georgia next week, including team leader and leading tackler Jarrad Davis.
Davis, the starting middle linebacker, sustained a serious ankle sprain against Missouri last Saturday and is not be able to practice this week. His status for the Georgia game is uncertain.
“Jarrad Davis obviously hurt that ankle real good,” UF coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday. “But, if there is a guy I would bet, or know, that he’s going to do everything he can to get back. Obviously, he’s not practicing this week, but he’s been doing a great job rehab-wise. We’ll see where that is (next week).
"I don't know (if there’s a chance he could play next week). That's him. That's the medical staff. It's making sure it's right. If they're mentally right to go, he'll go."
The status of three other starters on the defensive front -- ends Bryan Cox Jr. (thumb) and Jordan Sherit (knee) and tackle Joey Ivie (thumb) -- also is uncertain for Georgia.
Sherit had his knee scoped two weeks ago. Ivie’s thumb remains in a cast after undergoing surgery three weeks ago. Cox injured his thumb during warmups for the Missouri game when his hand got caught in the jersey of a teammate during a drill.
McElwain said there’s a chance Cox, a senior, will not return this season.
“I don't know whether he'll go again this year,” McElwain said. “It's totally up to see where the medical evidence and obviously where they are mentally as far as moving forward. We'd sure like to have him back, but you never know.”
The news appears a little more positive on Sherit and Ivie. Sherit returned to practice in shorts on a limited basis Tuesday and will be re-evaluated next week. The medical staff will re-examine Ivie’s thumb at the end of this week that likely will determine his status for next week.
“Joey Ivie is still in a cast. We’ll see where that is when they go back in at the end of the week and take a look at how it’s healed,” McElwain said. “There again, doctors and personal choice as far as how they feel.
“Jordan Sherit actually came out yesterday in some shorts and stuff and bounced around a little bit. There again, time will tell. I think he's still a full week away, though.”
With Ivie, Sherit and Cox out, and starting tackle Caleb Brantley limited with an injured hand, several young players saw significant playing time against Missouri, including true freshman defensive end Antonneous Clayton and true sophomore defensive ends Keivonnis Davis and Jabari Zuniga. True sophomore Cece Jefferson started at end in place of Cox, while redshirt sophomore Taven Bryan saw extensive playing time at tackle.
“As you kind of get going on this thing, it's big,” McElwain said of the injuries to Cox, Ivie and Sherit. “But the other side of that is there's some young guys that are taking advantage of it and having some fun doing it.
“You just talk about the energy. We've got some young guys out there taking a lot snaps on both sides of the ball. But that's OK. They came here to play. I think the big thing is they take the lead from some of these older guys in how you go about the preparation piece, but we certainly want those guys back.”
McElwain said the young guys held their own on the defensive front.
“I thought Antonneous Clayton, he's still a long ways away from being where he's going to be, but I thought he and Keivonnis really kind of played well,” McElwain said. “I thought CeCe -- I know he's not young, but he is in relative terms -- I thought he really showed up. When you go down inside, the guy that I'd like to recognize a little bit, you know we keep waiting for him and I think the light came on a little bit is Taven Bryan. I thought Taven, he showed up and became relevant in the game and I thought that was really important for us."
The Gators are also dealing with some injuries on the offensive side of the ball.
Starting tight end DeAndre Goolsby injured a finger in the Missouri game and his status is uncertain for Georgia, while tailback Jordan Cronkrite continues to be slowed by a leg injury. Neither is practicing this week.
“You probably saw (Goolsby) come off the field with his hand. I don't think it's long-term,” McElwain said. “And yet, there's another case where it's got to be right through the doctors and obviously him mentally. So we're moving forward there.”
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.
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