Injuries Starting to Nag at Gators
Nov. 03, 1996
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Injuries are doing more to slow No. 1 Florida than any of its opponents.
Senior center Jeff Mitchell broke his left ankle on the second play from scrimmage in the Gators' 47-7 victory over Georgia on Saturday.
Later in the game, defensive end Willie Rodgers tore cartilage in his left knee and will have arthroscopic surgery on Monday.
``I was worried that, if we got into a real dogfight, if we'd have enough guys to pull through,'' defensive tackle Reggie McGrew said.
Florida already was playing without six defensive starters because of injuries _ safety Teako Brown (knee), linebacker Jevon Kearse (broken hand), tackle Ed Chester (shoulder), and ends Cameron Davis (ankle), Tim Beauchamp (concussion) and Willie Cohens (knee).
Florida coach Steve Spurrier said some of those could return this week.
``Jeff Mitchell is really the only big injury,'' Spurrier said. ``He's out for the year, so we have to do some adjusting in there. We haven't had a lot of injuries this year, just some nagging little ones. But I guess we've got some depthy now that maybe we didn't have in past years.''
The injury to Mitchell figures to be the most crucial. The Gators have survived massive changes to the offensive line because of Mitchell's experience.