The hits just keep on coming for the Florida Gators. Head coach Will Muschamp confirmed reports that new starting left tackle Tyler Moore is officially out for the season with a compound fracture to his right elbow, sustained in a scooter accident Tuesday night on his way home after the team meal.
“Unfortunately [Tuesday] night, Tyler Moore was riding home on his scooter and he came around a curve there and the back tire came out from underneath him,” Coach Will Muschamp said on the SEC teleconference. “He’ll be out for the season and we’ll know more about his prognosis and how long after the surgery, obviously.”
Moore underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair the break.
The loss of Moore is the second season-ending injury to an offensive tackle (Chaz Green, labrum) and the third injury to an offensive tackle (D.J. Humphries, MCL), leaving the Gators very thin on the offensive front.
Muschamp confirmed that Max Garcia would slide over from left guard to left tackle, the position he played at Maryland. Garcia had some trouble at left tackle in a limited capacity this season. Garcia has gained considerable weight since arriving at Florida before last season. While that extra weight is good for a guard, it might affect Garcia’s mobility on the outside.
“Not as comfortable as I am at left guard being that I have practiced left guard since the spring,” Garcia said last week about playing tackle. “I feel like that’s more my natural position I’ve gained a lot of weight since being at Maryland so it’s kinda been different for me playing at left tackle but you know if I need to go out there I’m still going to get the job done.”
Garcia’s move to tackle creates a void at a left guard. Muschamp said that Ian Silberman and Kyle Koehne would compete for the starting job this week in practice and a starter has yet to be determined.
With one less healthy offensive lineman, this could be the week where we see Octavius Jackson’s redshirt burned. Muschamp has said that Jackson would be the first freshman offensive lineman off the sideline if they needed extra bodies.
“Trip Thurman will back up both tackles,” Muschamp said. “And Octavius Jackson obviously is a possibility, increases [the chances] that he could play. He’s been up with us repping all year, so he’s a guy that we’ve kind of prepared for unfortunate situations.”
The Florida injury situation doesn’t get any more unfortunate than it has been this season. The motto “man down, man up” has truly been tested and will be stretched to the breaking point with an athletic Vanderbilt defensive line this week and Jadeveon Clowney waiting for the Gators in Columbia, South Carolina next week.