Monday November 11, 2013Injury Alert: Morrison is latest Gator to be lost for season; Murphy to miss practice time
Updated: 1:26pm, November 11
Updated: 1:26pm, November 11
Gators linebacker Antonio Morrison is done for the season due to a knee injury in Saturday's loss.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Gators have already lost their starting quarterback, their top defensive lineman and their most experienced running back to season-ending injuries.
Add their top tackler to the list.
Florida coach Will Muschamp announced Monday that sophomore starting middle linebacker Antonio Morrison, who leads the Gators with 56 tackles, will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury.
Morrison suffered the injury early in Saturday’s game but was able to continue to play, recording a team-high 10 tackles in Florida’s 34-17 loss to Vanderbilt. Morrison is the 10th UF player to be lost for the season due to injury.
"He tore his meniscus. It’s a radial tear, the same thing Matt Jones did,'' Muschamp said. "So, very disappointed for him."
With Morrison out, Muschamp said Micheal Taylor will start at middle linebacker and true freshman Jarrad Davis will play on weak-side linebacker. Neiron Ball and Darrin Kitchens will continute to see significant time at the position and true freshman Alex Anzalone has progressed in recent weeks.
"Alex Anzalone keeps coming on [and] doing a good job for us,'' Muschamp said. "He’ll get some snaps.”
Morrison joins quarterback Jeff Driskel, defensive tackle Dominique Easley, running back Matt Jones, linebacker Matt Rolin, receiver Andre Debose, offensive linemen Chaz Green and Tyler Moore, defensive back Nick Washington and linebacker Jeremi Powell on the list of players to go down with season-ending injuries.
Meanwhile starting offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (knee) and reserve tight end Colin Thompson (foot) have missed significant time to injury and are out indefinitely.
Overall, Florida has lost seven starters to season-ending injuries and only five UF players have started every game in one of the most injury-plagued seasons in the program’s recent history.
The Gators, 4-5 and in need of two wins in their final three games to become bowl eligible, travel to face No. 12-ranked South Carolina on Saturday.
As if the loss of Morrison wasn’t enough, Muschamp said quarterback Tyler Murphy won't practice Monday or Tuesday. He is battling a sore shoulder. Murphy suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder in a loss at LSU last month and has not been the same since.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg is Murphy's backup and will take snaps with first team at practice.
"It’s very difficult just because after these last few losses and not playing well on Saturday, I need all the practice I can get,'' said Murphy, who added that if the game was today he would likely be unable to play. "It’s just frustrating being banged up a little bit and having to sit out and try to get healthy. I’m just gonna live in the training room and get healthy and try to get back out there as soon as possible.”