Anthony Richardson should be at Gators practice while receiving treatment, Dan Mullen says

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports

Florida backup quarterback Anthony Richardson is expected to practice this week while receiving treatment for hamstring tightness, Dan Mullen said at his weekly news conference Monday.

The Gators coach sounded optimistic about Richardson’s injury

 “I think he’s doing good. Saw him today watching the film,” Mullen said. “He kind of had some tightness in his hamstring. He'll do treatment and we’ll see how he’ll be this week. We expect him to practice and we'll see how he comes along at practice and deals with it during the week.”

Richardson, off to an outstanding start in Mullen’s two-quarterback system this season, grabbed his hamstring at the end of his 80-yard TD run in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s 42-20 win over USF in Tampa.

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Florida backup quarterback Anthony Richardson is expected to practice this week while recovering from a strained right hamstring.

The 6-foot-4, 236-pound Richardson finished with 115 rushing yards and a score on just four carries and completed his three pass attempts for 152 yards and two more touchdowns. 

Richardson’s performance, which topped his 200-yard outing in the opener, prompted calls from fans and media members — locally and nationally — for him to start over Emory Jones, who threw two interceptions for the second consecutive game despite playing better against USF. 

Mullen said he hasn’t paid attention to the outside noise. 

“Uhh, yeah, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t listen to many suggestions. If you’re in our staff meeting I’m going to listen to your suggestion,” Mullen said. “I don’t know, I don’t run down to Shands Hospital and say, ‘Boy, I think you should really do that procedure this way.’ I think those guys probably got that under control, you know? So, they’re the experts who are doing it.”

Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson (15) walks around on the sideline Saturday after hurting his hamstring against USF at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

After reiterating Monday that Richardson — like Jones — has missed reads in the passing game, Mullen was asked to give an example. He mentioned a second-quarter play against FAU, where Richardson evaded pressure from an unblocked defender, missed two receivers open on short crossing routes and scrambled for 20 yards, 

“He drops back,” Mullen recalled, “misses a protection check, then misses the hot throw, then misses the primary read, and then scrambles around and runs and everybody thinks, ‘What a spectacular play!’”

That’s along the lines of what Mullen said about the QB position prior to his first season at UF.

“Learning how to make the non-spectacular plays and making them every single snap with consistency is really a huge trait for a quarterback,” Mullen said in 2018. 

This is Jones’ fourth year learning Florida’s offense and he’s still working to develop that trait. Nonetheless, Mullen has seen enough from Jones to stick with him as the starter and will continue to rotate Richardson at quarterback. 

After checking into the first two games on the third series, could Richardson see the field sooner against No. 1 Alabama?

"Well, we’ll see. We kind of go in with a plan,” Mullen said. “Everybody knows going into the game that, ‘Hey, you’re going to play the third series.’ … Now there are circumstances that could affect that, and there were Saturday circumstances that would affect if he went in and when he went in. So, that’s always up there changing.

“I thought in the first half both quarterbacks played really well, made good decisions and I thought in the second half we made a couple poor decisions, missed reads, missed checks, you know, things that you gotta do. Taking care of the mental part of the game for both our quarterbacks. I think that’s a big part of it as they continue to grow.”

Up next

Who: No. 1 Alabama (2-0) vs. No. 9 Florida (2-0)

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Steve Spurrier-Florida Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium

TV: CBS

Radio: 103.7-FM, 98.1-FM, 850-AM