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Gators’ Johnson’s Shoulder Ailing

October 15, 1999

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida quarterback Doug Johnson missed passing drills for the second straight day Friday because of a sore right shoulder.

Coach Steve Spurrier said he will make a game-time decision on whether Johnson or backup Jesse Palmer will start Saturday at Auburn.

Spurrier said Johnson’s shoulder had been sore since last Sunday, following No. 7 Florida’s 31-10 victory over LSU. Johnson missed throwing Monday, but worked the next two days. The soreness didn’t abate, however, so Spurrier kept him out of drills again to close the week.

``We’re getting Jesse extra prepared,″ Spurrier said. ``Doug has thrown two days this week, so I don’t know how sharp he’ll be. He needed to get a lot of work in.″

Palmer has played sparingly this season. Spurrier had held out hope that Palmer would be eligible for a medical redshirt due to lingering soreness after breaking a collarbone last year.

Palmer played a mop-up role in Florida’s first two games this season, going 14-of-23 for 158 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He hasn’t played since.

Palmer, a junior, made the first start of his career two years ago this week at Auburn, when Johnson was suspended for a curfew violation.

Palmer went 8-of-14 with two interceptions in that game. But last year, his stock rose, and he earned the starting job for a time, before the injury gave it back to Johnson.

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