Florida football: TE Keon Zipperer out, WR Justin Shorter questionable vs. Texas A&M

Kevin Brockway
Gator Sports

Florida football will be without one key target in the passing game and possibly another when it plays Saturday at Texas A&M (noon ET, ESPN).

 Tight end Keon Zipperer has been ruled out for the Gators with a knee injury, while wide receiver Justin Shorter is questionable and will be a game-time decision.

Zipperer ranks fourth on the Gators in receiving with 13 catches for 177 yards and 1 TD.

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“Keon’s got a little bit of a knee, nothing long-term there," Florida coach Billy Napier said. "It’s pretty much to-be-determined based off of his rehab and recovery right now and we aren’t expecting him to be available this weekend but long term no issue there.”

Dante Zanders, Jonathan Odom will fill in at tight end

With Zipperer out, Dante Zanders will move back into the starting role at tight end, with Jonathan Odom as the backup.

“Jonathan is a very bright young man," Napier said. "Certainly, he’s a guy, I think he’s well-prepared. We see him every day."

Florida Gators tight end Keon Zipperer (9) makes a catch for a first down during the first half against the Eastern Washington Eagles at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Sunday, October 2, 2022. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

Shorter has 21 catches for a team-high 471 yards receiving and 2 TDs on the season. Napier said Shorter has done minimal work in practice this week.

"We did some things that have been modified and he’ll probably be a game-time decision,” Napier said.

Replacing Brenton Cox Jr.

Antwaun Powell-Ryland Jr. will start at the edge rush position in place of Brenton Cox Jr., who was kicked off Florida's team earlier this week. Napier also confirmed that freshman cornerback Devin Moore underwent shoulder surgery and will be out the remainder of the season.

"This was an injury that he had when he arrived," Napier said. "It was uncovered during the first few weeks of the season. He showed great toughness, he played with it for a little while and then it got to a point where he’s not able to participate ... We’re hopeful that we’ll have him back for the offseason program and spring practice.”