No. 7 Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp was unable to participate in the weekly SEC teleconference due to a death in the family but held a separate media availability on Thursday to provide injury and health updates on the team and preview Saturday’s game against the Missouri Tigers.
HEALTH / INJURY UPDATES
The flu bug has bitten the Gators. According to Muschamp, a number of players came down with the illness early in the week though only redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Leon Orr, who was so sick that he went to the hospital to get an IV this week, is expected to miss the game. Muschamp also noted that junior safety Matt Elam has been dealing with the flu but should be fine and is expected to play on Saturday.
Additionally, redshirt senior Buck linebacker Lerentee McCray (ankle) and senior left tackle Xavier Nixon (knee) are questionable with their respective injuries, though Muschamp expects both to be able to play.
Finally, he addressed the return of junior cornerback Cody Riggs, who broke his foot earlier in the season and has not played for a number of weeks. Muschamp said that the plan is to get Riggs on a medical redshirt at the end of the season, but he would not rule out the possibility of him returning to the field if need be.
“He’s come back, I guess last week, and practiced Monday a little bit but then went Tuesday and tried to go on it. It’s just one of those deals, when you’re dealing with a foot. We feel like it’s healed properly. Now you’re looking at this point of the season, all right, where are we?” he said.
“Cody and I sat down on Tuesday, and I talked to his family. Right now, probably we’d probably apply for a medical [redshirt] based on the time of the season left. But I told him, I can’t make any promises for the simple reason of injury. We still got a lot of games to go. He’s not as full-speed as he’s been, let’s just say that. He’s not playing as fast as he is capable of playing. I’m not going to put a player out there that’s not playing as well as he can play. It hasn’t healed maybe as quickly as we thought, and we kind of just got to continue to evaluate the situation. We’ve made no 100 percent decision yet at all but that’s probably where we’re headed.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» On if he plays video games with his children: “Yes, and I lose a lot. Maybe I’m not very good with my hand-eye coordination. Jackson [11-years-old] is really good, and I can still beat Whit but he’s seven[-years-old], so that’s not much of a thing to brag about.”
» On offensive coordinator Brent Pease being a head coach in the future: “Certainly. Should be. He’s a really good football coach. I endorse him 100 percent.”
» On if the best college team could beat the worst NFL team: “[Scoffs] I would have a hard time saying that. That maturity level of those guys, there are some full-grown men playing in that league. The speed of the game when I left LSU to go to the Miami Dolphins was more than noticeable on the field. It’s a grown man’s league.”