Florida Gators cornerback C.J. McWilliams’ season is over before it even began. The redshirt junior suffered a rupture Achilles tendon during practice last week and will miss the 2019 season.
“He’s going to be out for the year with a torn Achilles. He ruptured his Achilles. He’s going to be out for the year. That’s a tough one, non-contact injury,” Mullen said Tuesday. “That’s a shame because those guys, it is, it’s one of those. Early in practice, just planted and drove and felt the pop. It’s a shame. It’s so tough. Guys work so hard. They put in all this work in the offseason and you get suffered with an injury.”
McWilliams is the second Gator to suffer an Achilles injury this offseason. Redshirt freshman David Reese tore his Achilles before fall camp and will also miss 2019.
McWilliams redshirted in 2016 — his first year on campus. He played sparingly in seven games during the 2017 campaign and then in nine games last season. McWilliams wasn’t projected to start this season but was going to see the field. Right now the Gators’ are sorely lacing depth at cornerback, especially at nickelback where McWilliams would have gotten opportunities to play. John Huggins is another player that could fill in but Huggins has been absent from fall camp dealing with a “family issue.”
Right now the Gators have three returning starters in C.J. Henderson, Marco Wilson and Trey Dean at cornerback. After that Florida will have to break in freshmen. The trio of Kaiir Elam, Chester Kimbrough and Jaydon Hill (who is returning from an ACL injury of his own) will all need to play and play in meaningful reps.
“You look at some freshmen – like our three freshmen corners. They’re all gonna play,” Mullen said. “There’s opportunities for them to play, and they’re getting moved up to play.”