True freshman running back Malik Davis, Florida’s leading rusher and top offensive playmaker, is out for the season after injuring his right knee in the 42-7 loss to Georgia last Saturday.
“It’s a big blow for us because he was an explosive running back,” interim head coach Randy Shannon said Monday.
Sophomore outside linebacker Kylan Johnson also might be gone for the rest of the season after reinjuring his hamstring in the Georgia game.
“Kylan will probably be out for the season,” Shannon said. “Slim chance of Kylan coming back. It would just be tough for him to come back.”
With Davis out, senior Mark Thompson moves up as the backup to starter Lamical Perine, while true freshman Adarius Lemons becomes the No. 3 running back.
“Mark Thompson has got to step up,” Shannon said. “He’s a senior. He’s a guy that’s 6-2, 240, runs 4.4. It’s his opportunity to come in and play. We’ve got to challenge him on offense to make sure there was a reason why he was recruited to be a part of Florida, and that’s for him to be a skilled running back, but also be productive and be a physical-type guy that can get open in space and make plays.
“Adarius Lemons will be a third guy on the roster. If something goes wrong, he’ll be the next guy up. We’ve got three running backs that we feel comfortable with, but Mark Thompson has to really step up this game.”