GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain gave his final injury update of the week Wednesday after practice as the No. 18-ranked Gators prepare to host Missouri this weekend.
The most significant news was that redshirt-junior defensive tackle Caleb Brantley was limited in practice by the hand injury he sustained two weekends ago at Vanderbilt.
“Caleb’s got that hand and he didn’t go a full day today. I don’t know what his deal is, but you know what, we’ll have guys that show up and play,” McElwain said.
McElwain was asked if he was frustrated with Brantley for any reason as his words seemed to indicate, but he said that wasn’t the case.
“No, I’m not frustrated with him. He’s a great player. He can dominate a game,” McElwain said. “Sometimes he’s his own worst enemy because, there again, he’s so hard on himself rather than clap it off, go play the next play.”
Brantley only has 8 tackles, 1 sack and 2 tackles for loss through five games, but his overall impact is belied by those numbers.
Florida DTs Caleb Brantley and Joey Ivie rank first and second in pass rush productivity among SEC defensive tackles. pic.twitter.com/CRleHk01ik
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) October 11, 2016
In other injury news, junior wide receiver C.J. Worton did not practice Wednesday, McElwain said, though he did not specify his injury.
Senior linebacker Daniel McMillian, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, did practice and should be available when Florida needs a third linebacker Saturday.
“I’m pretty sure that he’ll be ready to go so I’d say probable there — no doubt about it,” McElwain said.
Junior reserve cornerback Joseph Putu is still banged up with an ankle, “but should be ready to go.”
Highly-touted true freshman wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland has played the last two games since finally getting past the hamstring issue that slowed him at the start of the season.
He’s up to 3 catches for 45 yards and McElwain said his role could continue to expand.
“Yeah, I think he’s back healthy. He’s put some pretty good back-to-back weeks together and he’s a guy that we thought would be a big part,” he said. “And I think as we move forward, the more he plays with consistency the more he’ll get opportunities.”
Yet more LSU reaction
McElwain continues to be asked about the criticism that came Florida’s way after the SEC’s decision to postgame the Gators’ game last Saturday with LSU due to Hurricane Matthew.
And he is clearly tired of talking about the matter — understandably.
“(The players) should be worried about Missouri because that’s the only thing we can control. But as I said before, I’ll go play (LSU) anywhere. I don’t get where all this is coming from,” McElwain said. “The one thing we never do is back down, and if you understand the circumstances, you understand what occurred, I get. But to ever think that we wouldn’t play them anywhere, that’s ridiculous.”