Already down to a scant few playmakers on offense, the Florida Gators may be without another key one Saturday night against Texas A&M.
True freshman slot receiver/wildcat quarterback Kadarius Toney, UF’s most explosive offensive player, is listed as highly questionable for Saturday’s game with injuries to his shoulder and shin.
“Speaks to his toughness, he got banged up in the first quarter (against LSU) a couple different spots and finished the game,” UF coach Jim McElwain said Monday.
Four other starters — safety Nick Washington (shoulder), wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (ankle), safety Chauncey Gardner Jr. (ankle) and offensive guard Brett Heggie (concussion) — also could miss Saturday’s game. All four are questionable or doubtful.
All five injured starters, along with reserve outside linebacker Jeremiah Moon (ankle), were held out of practice Monday.
“(We’ll know) nothing for sure until Wednesday,” McElwain said. “But all those guys will be out of practice today and then we’ll see kind of where we move forward with that as the week kind of progresses.
“There’s a good opportunity for guys as we go, and this is nothing new. This is part of playing in this conference, this is part of being in the SEC, it’s part of playing football. So, we’ll put plans together to help the guys around them be successful.”
Cleveland, UF’s leading receiver and best deep threat, missed the LSU game after sustaining a high ankle sprain late in the Vanderbilt game two weeks ago. If he and Toney can’t go Saturday, the Gators will be without their two biggest playmakers in the passing game.
If Toney is out Saturday, the wildcat quarterback role will be filled by junior slot receiver Dre Massey.
“He’ll be ready to go,” McElwain said.