GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain announced Thursday that redshirt junior quarterback Luke Del Rio will miss spring practice after undergoing surgery on his non-throwing shoulder Wednesday.
Del Rio missed the Gators’ final five games, but it was presumed he had injured his throwing shoulder during the team’s Nov. 5 loss at Arkansas.
McElwain had later commented that in hindsight he wished he had pulled Del Rio out of that game and that he could see in reviewing the tape how the quarterback looked clearly limited by the injury on a downfield throw to Antonio Callaway that was intercepted.
While meeting with reporters after that game, Del Rio sported a sizable ice pack strapped to his throwing shoulder.
He made some light throws in pre-game warm-ups late in the season, looking to still be working his way back from the unspecified shoulder injury, and was listed as the team’s backup quarterback for the Outback Bowl.
So the direct cause or origin of the issue that required surgery on his non-throwing shoulder this week is not clear. The quarterback also missed two games early in the season with a knee injury.
Overall, he finished with 1,358 passing yards, 8 touchdowns and 8 interceptions while making 6 starts in his debut season with the Gators. His best game was a 320-yard, 4-touchdown, 1-interception effort against Kentucky in Week 2.
He never looked the same after the knee injury, throwing 6 interceptions and just 2 touchdown passes over his final three games.
He was expected to compete with redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks for the position heading into the 2017 season.
Franks and fellow untested second-year quarterback Kyle Trask will now get an even larger share of the reps this spring and Del Rio will look to make an impression in fall camp.