Florida Gators sophomore running back Matt Jones was officially ruled out for the remainder of the 2013 season on Monday after tearing his meniscus early in the first half of his team’s 17-6 loss to the LSU Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
“Very disappointed that Matt Jones will be out for the season. He’s having surgery as we speak,” head coach Will Muschamp announced during his weekly press conference on Monday. “We thought it was a sprain in the knee. Turns out it was a torn meniscus. He definitely will be out.”
Muschamp said after Saturday’s game that trainers did not think the injury to Jones’s left knee was serious but would evaluate it further after returning to Gainesville, FL.
“Very unfortunate. I hate it for Matt,” he added. “He’s a great young man. And to go through what he’s been through this fall, missing most of fall camp, working his way back in shape, starting to feel good about himself as far as how he felt physically, mentally. And then to have this setback is just disheartening for all of us.”
Jones sat out nearly all of fall camp while recovering from a serious viral infection and missed the first game of the season against Toledo as a precaution.
He returned at Miami but struggled in his first action back, fumbling the ball and picking up just 47 yards on 18 carries.
Jones finally broke out three weeks later at Kentucky, taking a career-high 28 touches for a career-high 176 yards while scoring a touchdown for the second-straight week.
He totaled 339 yards and two touchdowns in just over four full games.
Redshirt junior Mack Brown will step in for Jones as Florida’s primary running back. As the starter against Toledo, Brown had a career game by rushing for 112 yards and two touchdowns on 25 touches.
He is averaging 3.7 yards per carry in 2013.
Freshman Kelvin Taylor will also see his workload increase. He is averaging 6.1 yards per carry this season and was second on the Gators with 52 yards on Saturday at LSU.
Jones is the fifth starter Florida has lost for the season joining junior quarterback Jeff Driskel, senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley, redshirt junior right tackle Chaz Green and redshirt senior kick returner Andre Debose on the mend.
A surgically-repaired torn meniscus usually requires at least two months of recovery before rehabilitation. The Gators did not provide a specific timetable for Jones but should have one after the surgery is completed.