Image Credit: UAA
Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain was expecting to be without redshirt sophomore starting quarterback Luke Del Rio for the foreseeable future following a left knee injury Saturday night. Instead, it appears as if he may only have to manage the Gators without Del Rio for a couple weeks.
Del Rio has been diagnosed with a sprained MCL and will miss “at least two games,” according to Mike Huguenin of Gridiron Now.
Should the Gators get Del Rio back after just two weeks, UF will only be without its starting quarterback for games at Tennessee and at Vanderbilt. Florida hosts LSU in three weeks.
Del Rio was injured Saturday when he was hit low on a drop back play; a North Texas defender tackled him at the side of his left knee, forcing him to crumble to the ground. The quarterback stayed down for a short while as head coach Jim McElwain yelled at officials for not throwing a flag or ejecting the offending player. Eventually, Del Rio got up and walked off the field under his own power, albeit gingerly.
Graduate transfer Austin Appleby stepped in for Del Rio on Saturday and will start in Florida’s rivalry game at Tennessee next week. It is expected that freshman Kyle Trask will serve as the primary backup in the game.
Though Appleby is generally considered more athletic than Del Rio, he’s much less accurate. Considering the Gators are still trying to gel along the offensive line, it’s likely that Florida will put forth a run-heavy offense next week.