Jim McElwain took the podium on Wednesday to update all things Florida Gators football following practice on Wednesday. Once again, this team is littered with injuries with an SEC game approaching.
Florida will likely be down two of its biggest offensive playmakers on Saturday.
Both sophomore wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland and freshman athlete Kadarius Toney are doubtful right now.
It’s been nearly two weeks since Cleveland suffered a high ankle sprain against Vanderbilt, and he is working to get back on the field. McElwain said Cleveland is adamant about playing this week and got a chance to practice some on Wednesday, but he will not put him in a situation that could hurt him more in the long term.
Toney can do it all, from being a wildcat quarterback to a wide receiver, but injuries to his shoulder and his shin could keep him out this week. Redshirt junior Dre Massey will take over those duties if he cannot go.
“Kadarius Toney, highly doubtful,” McElwain said. “He hasn’t been able to go still again with that separation (shoulder).”
Also in the questionable category is senior running back Mark Thompson. He did not practice part of Tuesday and could not go on Wednesday with a foot injury.
Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Brett Heggie. He is still undergoing concussion protocol, but did get a chance to participate in individual drills on Wednesday. Ultimately, his status on Saturday will come down to the doctor’s decision.
On defense, sophomore defensive end Jabari Zuniga suffered an ankle injury in practice on Wednesday. McElwain said he is hopeful Zuniga will be able to give it a go on Saturday, but if he can’t, defensive end is one of Florida’s deepest positions.
Senior corner back Duke Dawson has been down with an illness, but he practiced today. Along with him on the back end, safety Nick Washington is out this week with a shoulder injury that has been hindering him for a while now. Freshman Shawn Davis will be expected to take on more responsibility in his spot.
Injuries are no stranger to this Florida football team, and it will likely have to go without several starters and play makers again this week.