GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Jim McElwain discussed the return of two injured starters to practice while speaking on the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday.
Defensive end CeCe Jefferson (foot) and right guard/center Tyler Jordan (ankle) have practiced, and it sounds like both will be available Saturday.
That means the No. 21 Gators (7-2, 5-2 SEC) will only be down seven starters.
Linebackers Alex Anzalone (broken arm), Jarrad Davis (ankle), safety Marcus Maye (broken arm), defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. (ankle), center Cam Dillard (knee), quarterback Luke Del Rio (shoulder) and left tackle David Sharpe (ankle) are expected to be out.
Jefferson would give that depleted defense a boost against a physical LSU offensive line and powerful running game.
“Definitely. CeCe, he’s one of the team leaders. which is rare for a guy of that age. I think that’s pretty cool,” McElwain said of the sophomore. “He’s a guy that really wants to play and he’ll give everything he can to get out there, but I do believe that it is a lift. Especially where Bryan is, we’re going to need to that, somebody trying to set the edge and he’ll definitely try to do that.”
Jordan, meanwhile, slid over from right guard to center to fill in for Dillard before getting hurt on the first offensive play of the game Saturday against South Carolina.
“He practiced. I think he’s another guy, again one of those young guys, he’s doing everything he can,” McElwain said. “He did take some reps yesterday. I’ll know after practice today, but he looked like he’s going to be available. At what level, I don’t know, but he’ll definitely go and be in gear.”
It’s been an almost unbelievable rash of injuries as all nine of those starters have gone down in the last two games.
McElwain made light of the matter on the teleconference.
“You know, back in Montana they’ve got a little eight-man league and I’ve been thinking about calling in and seeing if we can maybe just play eight-man football and go at it that way,” he said. “No, there will be some guys in there. We’ll put 11 out there and they’ll go do what they can do. You know, you come to schools like this to play in those environments, and that’s going to be a great opportunity for some guys.”