UF injury update: Zaire may not be a go for Saturday

Florida quarterback Malik Zaire reacts after an injury against South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)


Florida quarterback Malik Zaire did not practice Tuesday and is still listed as day-to-day with an injured left knee. If he does not practice today, he will not play Saturday against UAB, interim head coach Randy Shannon said Tuesday.

“He’s got to practice,” Shannon said. “That’s the bottom line. You can’t have a guy going out and say, ‘OK he’s ready on Thursday.’ He’s got to go. If he doesn’t get any work in tomorrow, he probably won’t be going.”

Zaire injured his knee against South Carolina last Saturday and was replaced by former starter Feleipe Franks.

The plan is to start Franks on Saturday. He will be backed up by slot receivers Kadarius Toney and Dre Massey and walk-on Nick Sproles.

Toney took most of the reps at the No. 2 quarterback spot Tuesday.

“We’re getting him the reps because Massey got a lot of reps last week,” Shannon said. “We got (Toney) toned into some reps.”

Toney and Massey were both quarterbacks in high school.

OL further depleted

Shannon said backup offensive guard Antonio Riles is dealing with injuries that will keep him out of Saturday’s game. With Riles out, the Gators are down to nine scholarship offensive linemen.

“Riles will not be playing this week. Don’t know when he’s going to come back,” Shannon said. “It’s a day-to-day deal.

“We have to work with the offensive line, moving guys around. Right now, we have to treat it as an NFL team. The guys on the offensive line are going to have to move around and play different positions. That’s part of the game, part of what we’re doing.”

Tyler Jordan, Kavaris Harkless, Fred Johnson and Nick Buchanan are getting reps at both guard positions and center, while Martez Ivey, Jawaan Taylor, Stone Forsythe, Andrew Mike and T.J. Moore are working at both tackle spots.

“Just moving around,” Shannon said. “We just have to make sure if something happens in the game, you have somebody ready to go.”

Johnson practices

Starting outside linebacker Kylan Johnson, who was expected to miss the remainder of the season with an injured hamstring, managed to practice Tuesday, but his status for Saturday’s game remains uncertain.

“He completed the whole practice today,” Shannon said. “Everything felt good about him.”


  1. Sad to hear as this young man got hurt trying to will us to a win in season that is lost for not only the Gators but for him as well considering football career is coming to a close. Thank you to all players for playing out the season and giving it your best!

    I am interested though on why Gatorsports is not actively updating all this Chip Kelly smoke? Even if it is smoke, why is our new AD even entertaining it at all by tweeting and addressing it? Seems to me that if they are rumors then let them be and be above acknowledging them? Kinda worth at least a talk there Mr. Dooley, don’t ya think? It is after all news even if it is rumored news! I will go out on a limb and think that Gators, Fans, Alums want to hear more about any rumors substantiated or unsubstantiated rather than hear about how the Gators will stop the Ground Attack on Defense Mr. Andreu!

  2. A bad year getting worse before it gets better. We have 5 scholarship quarterbacks and 4 of them are injured and not able to play leaving only Franks and either walk-ons or guys we didn’t recruit to play quarterback. It may be just bad luck but it does not seem that the players were not physically prepared for this year.

    Regarding the coaching search, why would we want to hear rumors? Rumor news is not news it is hopes and opinions just based on what we know about a coach from watching some games. I don’t think Chip Kelly is a good fit. We just got rid of Mcelwain for that reason. Remember when Lane Kiffin was Tennessee’s coach? He didn’t fit either. Scott Strickland is new and he knows this is a big hire. He has plenty of time to vet candidates and find somebody that is willing to take a program full of tradition and rebuild it with the money and support that is available. We are so low as a program right now that it can’t get much worse so I am confident we will get a good coach. Go Gators!

  3. The amazing qb is Florida State’s backup who has been crushed a hundred times this year after taking over – and keeps bouncing back. Does not bode well for Thanksgiving. The only question is whether he will have to throw a pass against us. (See Ga. Southern)