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As is the custom, Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain offered little in the way of details about his growing list of injured players, though in his mish-mash of a report there did sound like some good news for one of Florida’s top playmakers.
Though senior linebacker Jarrad Davis was diagnosed with a “badly sprained ankle” with no timetable given for his return on Sunday, Oct. 16, McElwain on Monday noted that the player has participated in some light work and will rehab throughout the week in hopes of being able to play in Saturday’s rivalry game against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Davis, who has a history of working hard at rehabilitation from injuries, has “been in the training room 24/7,” senior safety Marcus Maye told the Orlando Sentinel.
Getting Davis — the Gators’ defensive leader and top tackler — back for Saturday is exceedingly important for Florida’s defensive unit.
“It was kind of surreal seeing him really get helped off the field because he does so much for this team, so much for this program,” said junior cornerback Jalen Tabor after the Missouri game. “It was kind of surreal that he was really walking off the field. That’s our guy. That’s the heart and soul of its defense.”
Should Davis miss the game, freshman David Reese would likely start in his place alongside redshirt junior Alex Anzalone. Reese is currently eighth on the team in tackles with 14 (one for loss), whereas Davis is the Gators’ leading tackler with 48 (3.5 for loss). Davis has also registered two sacks, four pass breakups and three quarterback hurries this season.
McElwain also said that redshirt senior defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. — just last week McElwain questioned whether he’d even play again this season due to a thumb injury — “ran around a little bit” during Florida’s stretch period. The same was said for redshirt junior DE Jordan Sherit (knee) and senior defensive tackle Joey Ivie (thumb).
Junior tight end DeAndre Goolsby (hand) was also listed as questionable after he “did some things” in practice. “It’ll be interesting to see how he’ll handle that throughout the week,” McElwian said. Finally, sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Jordan is back to 100 percent and “ready to roll,” an important development for a unit that did show improvement two weeks ago against Missouri.