Things are going from bad to worse for the Florida Gators offense on Saturday.
The Gators have yet to score a touchdown, and quarterback Malik Zaire has been running for his life on nearly every snap. And now the graduate-transfer QB is hurt.
Zaire hurt his left knee following a 23-yard run in the second quarter of the game. He stayed on the ground as trainers came to check on him. He walked off the field for further evaluation, and Feleipe Franks came in for one play, a pass that hit a Florida lineman in the back before falling incomplete.
TV cameras captured the Florida training staff putting Zaire through a couple agility drills and snaps on the sideline, and he returned to the game after Franks’ one play. But the play call was a designed QB run, and after taking two steps and not being touched by anyone, Zaire collapsed, favoring the same injury.
Fans and viewers on Twitter were shocked and angry with Florida interim coach Randy Shannon and the team’s training staff for putting Zaire back in, as well as with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier for immediately calling a run play with a banged-up QB.
That is criminal from Randy Shannon and the UF coaching and training staff. Absolutely insane
— Clarke Walker (@SeeLarke) November 11, 2017
This is malpractice from Randy Shannon right now.
— Aaron (@roneman90) November 11, 2017
Randy Shannon should 100% be responsible for however bad this Zaire injury ends up being. Unbelievable. #UFvsSC
— Tyler Ward (@TylerWardFilms) November 11, 2017
Not surprising given Nussmeier’s track record
— GaryCoatoam (@GCoatoam) November 11, 2017
NUSSMEIER HAS TO BE THE DUMBEST FREAKING OC IN HISTORY, how do u call a running play for Zaire after he just got hurt
— Larry Moore (@larrymoore26) November 11, 2017
Call a designed QB run for a guy who got hurt 2 plays before? What kind of stupid are you, Nussmeier?
— Seth Kegley (@SethKegley) November 11, 2017
Can't believe they let Zaire back in the game. Then didn't call a run play. Interim report Coach and training staff should be fired
— J (@j_whipp13) November 11, 2017
CBS Sports did report after Zaire left the game for the second time that, after he was examined by trainers, Zaire told them he felt good enough to return. However, that clearly was not the case. Sometimes coaching and training staffs have to protect players from themselves, right?
Zaire has been in and out of the injury tent on the sideline, and reports have said he has put a brace on the knee and has his helmet, but as of now Franks is still running the Gators offense.