‘Game-time decisions’ for Florida’s defensive ends, Mullen says

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Florida Gators linebacker Jonathan Greenard (58) celebrates after a tackle during the first home game of the season against UT Martin at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville on September 7, 2019. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

 There’s a chance the Florida Gators will be without injured starting defensive ends Jon Greenard and Jabari Zuniga for Saturday’s game at South Carolina.

 “They’ll be game-time decisions, so we’ll have to see how that goes this week for them,” UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday. “We’ve had to deal with injuries, they happen. You come into the year and say, ‘Hey if you’re going to have to have a great year, most teams are going to have a great year, you’re going to stay injury-free.’

 “We’re probably the furthest thing away from that in America of staying injury-free this year. But our guys, having to deal with adversity and come through that, have continued to perform and find a way to win games  despite all of the injuries that we’ve had to deal with.”

 Greenard, UF’s sack leader, sprained his ankle last week. He tried to play in the LSU game, but tweaked his ankle early in the first quarter and did not return. Zuniga, who missed the previous three games after spraining his ankle in the Kentucky game, re-injured his ankle Saturday night and did not return.

 With Greenard and Zuniga both out, the Gators generated almost zero pressure in the 42-28 loss to the Tigers. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow was not sacked or touched all night and he ended up throwing for 293 yards and three touchdowns.

 Starting quarterback Kyle Trask showed up for interviews Monday without a brace on his left knee, which he slightly sprained against Auburn two weeks ago.

 “It is feeling back to where it used to be,” he said. “That’s 100-percent ready to go.”

 A week ago, Trask was wearing a compression sleeve on his leg and a brace on the knee. After being limited the first day of practice last week, Trask was good to go in last Saturday’s game at LSU. The knee held up well in the game and Trask threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

Other notes:

•The noon game against South Carolina is a “big challenge for us. Biggest game of the year for us,” Mullen said. “They have a premier defensive line.

“This is a big point of our season.”

Mullen said cornerback Marco Wilson could end up playing more at the star position, where he was moved to during the LSU game.

Nothing new on receiver Kadarius Toney, who is expected to return after the bye week.


South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski has a sprained left knee, but was expected to play when the Gamecocks face No. 9 Florida on Saturday.

Muschamp said Hilinski’s injury was “nothing serious” and planned for him to start against the Gators this week.

Hilinski took a hard hit in the third quarter and pounded the ground in pain after the play. He was helped to the sidelines and watched the rest of the Gamecocks’ 20-17, double-overtime upset of then-third ranked Georgia with ice on his knee.

Redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner finished off the dramatic win at quarterback for South Carolina.

The freshman began the year as a backup, but has started the past five games after senior Jake Bentley was lost to a season-ending foot injury.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Moon, Carter, Chatfield, Bogle, all have an opportunity to step up and show why they chose to be Gators!!
    Seal that edge and attack the pocket with your hair on fire!! BTW, how awesome would it be for Cox to be eligible in time for the cocktail party? He could give his old friend Fromm a big bear hug on the way to the turf!
    GET EM GATORS!!

  2. I just don’t see how either Zuniga or Greenard will be ready in a week’s time. If Zuniga sat for 3 weeks or so, I don’t see how he’ll be ready in one week since reinjurying the ankle. I suppose Greenard could be ready with essentially two weeks rest but I’d rather sit him for 3 more weeks so he’ll be ready for Jax.