Florida QB Anthony Richardson practicing, LB Ventrell Miller reportedly out indefinitely

By Adam Silverstein
September 15, 2021
Florida QB Anthony Richardson practicing, LB Ventrell Miller reportedly out indefinitely
Football

Image Credit: Courtney Culbreath / UAA

The No. 11 Florida Gators look to be entering their showdown with the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday at full strength offensively but missing a key defensive piece going forward. What head coach Dan Mullen did and did not reveal early in the week tells the entire story.

Mullen noted Monday that sensational redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson, who injured his hamstring at the end of an 80-yard touchdown run last week vs. South Florida, was expected to practice but would be evaluated by trainers as the week progressed. Mullen confirmed Wednesday that Richardson has been practicing, saying he’s looked “fine” but will continue to get treatment on his hamstring leading up to the Alabama game.

“He’s had a pretty good week of practice,” Mullen added.

While attention ratcheted up regarding Richardson’s health and how much he will play compared to redshirt junior starter Emory Jones for an offense that has struggled massively in the passing game over the first two weeks of the season, the Gators have reportedly lost a significant piece from a defense that’s had its own share of issues.

Redshirt senior linebacker Ventrell Miller will be out indefinitely after having surgery on a torn biceps tendon, according to The Athletic’s G. Allan Taylor. That means Miller, whose injury was previously undisclosed, will not only miss the Crimson Tide showdown but perhaps the remainder of the regular season.

Miller, a starter for most of the last two-plus seasons who led Florida with 88 tackles in 2020, did not return after the first quarter in last Saturday’s game. His veteran presence in the middle of the defense played a significant role in the Gators’ front seven impressing over the first two games.

With Florida already facing issues in its secondary — primarily at the No. 2 cornerback spot opposite junior Kaiir Elam — and set to face arguably the nation’s best team on Saturday afternoon at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the defense will certainly struggle even further without Miller on the field.

While redshirt senior LB Jeremiah Moon has spent more time inside recently, it will be up to junior Mohamoud Diabate to fill in for Miller as a likely starter. Diabate started six of 12 games last season, finishing second on the team in tackles with 69. Though he’s flashed at times, he’s yet to prove himself as a full-time starter, having played less than half of the defensive snaps so far in 2021.

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