With no additional media availabilities scheduled before the No. 12 Florida Gators host the No. 13 Florida State Seminoles on Saturday in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the Gators provided a late-Wednesday injury update for the 12 players who could potentially miss the rivalry game.
Florida listed senior starting defensive linemen Jonathan Bullard (knee) and Alex McCalister (foot) as “doubtful” for the game, giving them a 25 percent chance of stepping foot on the field Saturday. Joining them with that designation was redshirt freshman DL Taven Bryan (foot), who plays a large number of snaps as a reserve.
The team being without arguably its best defensive player in Bullard and its top pass rusher in McCalister is far from an ideal situation for one of the top-ranked defenses in the nation, but Florida’s injuries do not stop there.
The Gators have also listed junior DL Joey Ivie (knee), redshirt sophomore DL Jordan Sherit (undisclosed), redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Cam Dillard (leg), freshman OL Martez Ivey (shoulder) and redshirt freshman DL Thomas Holley (hip) as “questionable” with a 50 percent chance of playing.
Ivie and Sherit are both reserves at their respective positions but see a lot of playing time, especially Sherit who was originally listed as out for the game, plays behind McCalister, who is doubtful to play already. Dillard and Ivey being inactive would be an incredible blow to Florida’s offensive line, which is already thin and inexperienced with both players as part of the unit. Ivey struggled mightily against FAU, likely due in part to his shoulder injury.
Four additional starters – senior linebacker Antonio Morrison (abdomen), redshirt sophomore DL Caleb Brantley (groin, abdomen), sophomore left tackle David Sharpe (foot) and sophomore wide receiver Brandon Powell (foot) – are all listed as “probable” with a 75 percent chance of playing. It is expected that all four will be able to suit up with no additional complications.
Head coach Jim McElwain has been accused of a bit of gamesmanship with so many players listed on his injury report this week, but anyone who paid attention to the health of the Gators as of late is aware that most of these injuries have been recurring issues. It will be interesting to see, however, how healthy Florida is when it lines up Saturday night against Florida State.