Florida sophomore running back Malik Davis sustained a broken foot in the win over Colorado State on Saturday and is out indefinitely, Mullen said Monday.
“He’ll be out for an extended period of time,” Mullen said. “We’re not sure on the maximum extent of the period yet.”
With Davis out, along with the transfer of Adarius Lemons, the Gators are down to four scholarship tailbacks — Jordan Scarlett, Lamical Perine, true freshman Dameon Pierce and true freshman Iverson Clement, who has been practicing at safety. In the first three games this season Davis has rushed for 61 yards on 13 carries.
“We’re all praying for Malik for a speedy recovery,” quarterback Feleipe Franks said. “We have some guys that can step up like Dameon coming in, obviously Scarlett, Perine doing a good job as well. So, we’ll be fine but it’s also a big loss for us and we’ll be praying for him that he has a speedy recovery.”
Pierce, who had a 68-yard TD run in the 48-10 victory over the Rams, likely will get more carries, Mullen said.
“He’s doing a good job,” Mullen said. “The big thing that I look for, he’s doing the things we’re asking him to do. He’s doing a pretty good job on special teams, he’s playing hard on special teams. I think he’s a good player with the ball in his hands. It’s doing the other little things that he’s learning.
“He has to know what route to run, how to run routes, how to catch the ball, how to protect within pass protection. All of those little things are steps that he’s going to continue to grow and continue to build on into the future.”
While the Gators will be without Davis against Tennessee on Saturday night, they might have two players who missed the first three games due to injuries — starting middle linebacker David Reese (ankle) and No. 2 nickel C.J. McWilliams (unspecified).
“We feel very opportunistic about getting David Reese and C.J. McWilliams back this week,” Mullen said. “And (safety) Shawn Davis will be questionable. He may have the opportunity to be back for us this week.”