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The No. 15 Florida Gators received some semblance of good news this week as it became apparent that senior linebacker Jarrad Davis (ankle) was on track to play in the 2016 SEC Championship Game on Saturday after missing three weeks of action.
“There’s no doubt about it. I expect him to play,” head coach Jim McElwain said Friday during an on-site press conference. “There’s certain guys that you coach and you’re around as your career goes on. He’s one of those guys that, if there’s even a little opportunity, he’s going to do everything he can to be out there.”
Davis’s return gives the Gators one of their three leading tacklers back just as they’re set to go up against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. The other two — senior safety Marcus Maye and redshirt junior LB Alex Anzalone — are out for the season with broken arms, suffering the injuries in consecutive weeks.
As for the rest of the team, Florida is also expected to see sophomore offensive lineman Martez Ivey (ankle) and senior wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood (undisclosed) play on Saturday. Ivey was initially ruled doubtful for the Florida State game but gutted it out and tried to play only to leave the field early in the contest.
Also likely to see action though listed as questionable by McElwain are redshirt sophomore tight end C’yontai Lewis (ankle) and sophomore OL Fred Johnson, who suffered an undisclosed injury in a scooter accident this week. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Luke Del Rio (shoulder) will not play except for an emergency situation, such as if an injury requires an immediate replacement to hand the ball off for a couple plays.
Joining Maye and Anzalone as starters ruled out for the game are redshirt junior center Cameron Dillard (knee) and redshirt junior defensive end Jordan Sherit (knee surgery). Starters doubtful but unlikely to play include redshirt senior DE Bryan Cox Jr. (ankle), senior LB Daniel McMillian (arm), redshirt junior safety Nick Washington (ankle) and junior defensive back Duke Dawson (ankle).
That makes eight starters doubtful or out for the game, but the list does not stop there. Other players recently injured who will not play Saturday include redshirt senior running back Mark Herndon (hamstring), freshman LB Jeremiah Moon (thumb), redshirt sophomore DE Justus Reed (undisclosed), freshman S Jeawon Taylor (arm) and junior WR C.J. Worton (ankle).