Florida football: CJ Henderson, most injured Gators expected back vs. Auburn

By Adam Silverstein
September 30, 2019
Florida football: CJ Henderson, most injured Gators expected back vs. Auburn

Image Credit: Kelly Chase / UAA

You would not know it by the scoreboard through five games, but the No. 10 Florida Gators defense has been extremely hobbled early in this 2019 season. But due to some luck and strategic planning on the part of the training staff and head coach Dan Mullen, it looks as if those injury issues will be resolved by the time No. 7 Auburn comes to town on Saturday.

Mullen reiterated Monday that he expects Florida to be nearly at full strength for its first game against a ranked opponent this season.

Junior cornerback CJ Henderson and senior defensive end Jabari Zuniga, who have each missed the last couple of weeks with ankle injuries, may have been able to play against Towson if needed but did not dress. Junior defensive back Shawn Davis and senior wide receiver Freddie Swain were both held out last week’s game for undisclosed reasons.

Mullen also mentioned that senior DB Jeawon Taylor and redshirt sophomore linebacker Ventrell Miller are dinged up but have been seeing limited action in practice to get ready for the game.

“The guys that are veteran players, I don’t worry about as much,” Mullen said. “The key is just getting them back into the flow of practice, getting them the practice reps they need. I’m not going to say everyone is 100 percent coming back into it, but they’re going to be ready to play. Us getting them prepared throughout the week to be ready to be as close to 100 percent as possible is the most important thing. … I’m happy to be having guys come back.”

In fact, the only players on the injury list and not out for the season who will not play are junior WR Kadarius Toney and presumably junior defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe. Toney remains on the mend with a shoulder injury and will be out of action a few more weeks; the Gators look to be targeting the bye week before the Georgia game to get him back. Conliffe’s absence remains undisclosed, and Mullen did not mention him when discussing returning players on Monday.

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