Florida Gators QB Luke Del Rio suffers another season-ending injury

By Adam Silverstein
September 30, 2017
Florida Gators QB Luke Del Rio suffers another season-ending injury
Football

Image Credit: AP

It took a month, but redshirt junior quarterback Luke Del Rio earned back his starting role with the Florida Gators on Saturday. Unfortunately for Del Rio, it may be the last time he takes the field in that role for the program.

Midway through the second quarter in Florida’s 38-24 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores, Del Rio injured his surgically-repaired shoulder after being planted hard into the ground on a third-down pass. He left the field, did not return and was ruled out for the season with a broken collarbone after the game by head coach Jim McElwain.

Del Rio completed 7-of-11 passes for 64 yards before he left the field, and redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks replaced him with an equally strong performance. Franks connected on 10-of-14 throws and compiled 185 yards on the afternoon, hitting sophomore wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland for a big 49-yard gain before halftime and lucking out with a 33-yard reception by sophomore WR Freddie Swain on a deflected ball.

Franks looked more poised Saturday than he had in his first three games, which is to be expected, and Florida certainly hopes he is able to gain confidence after this outing.

Del Rio is now 6-1 as a starter with the Gators, and he also directed Florida’s comeback against Kentucky a week ago. He began the 2016 season 5-0 before McElwain played him while injured in a devastating loss to Arkansas.

Not only did Del Rio tear up his knee against North Texas in the second game of the 2016 season, he injured both shoulders later in the campaign before being sat out for the year. Del Rio had offseason surgery on the knee and both shoulders, missed all of spring practice and most of the summer before returning to practice in the fall and seeing his first action last week.

As a redshirt junior, he will have one year of collegiate eligibility remaining, but if Franks continues to develop and the Gators build up the position behind him, Del Rio may not get another opportunity to play at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

7 Comments

  1. Tim Scott says:

    I hope Gator fans and I’m one will realize how important this young man has been to the program. LDR has had some tough breaks I pray he’ll recover from this and become a student assistant leading into a GA position here at Florida. I’m willing to bet he’s going to turn out to be a heck of a coach. Good luck Luke once a Gator always a Gator, thank you

  2. Scroud says:

    So sorry to see this happen, he was playing well, and it is a really tough break, sometimes life isn’t fair. Best of luck to the young man

  3. Basshole says:

    Best of luck to Del Rio. I think he was poised to have a good year for the Gators.

  4. Michael L. Jones says:

    Classy kid and a heck of a competitor. I wish him the best! Go Gators!!!

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