GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With backup quarterback Austin Appleby taking over for Luke Del Rio for the indefinite future, Florida has to decide which of its true freshmen quarterbacks will back him up now.
Gators coach Jim McElwain said Monday he needs more time on that decision.
“We’ll work through that this week and figure out what gives us the best chance at that position to be successful,” he said.
Either true freshmen Feleipe Franks or Kyle Trask will be one play away from getting their first action Saturday at Tennessee should anything happen to Appleby, as it did with Del Rio last Saturday night against North Texas.
SEC Country reported Sunday that Del Rio’s injury is believed to be a left knee sprain that will cost him a few weeks.
For his part, McElwain didn’t offer any details on Del Rio’s injury or timeframe for a potential return during his Monday news conference.
“(He’s) got a bum leg and he should be back sometime. I don’t know when it’s going to be,” he said. “I mean, I’m not going to rush him back. You know me, I’ll never put anybody out there that’s not ready to go. So we’ll see, and yet, you know what, we’ve got other guys that will jump in there and play. I’m excited about it. Now, I feel horrible for him, especially how it happened, and yet, that’s part of the game as well. That’s just the way it goes.”
McElwain had said after the game Saturday night that “it doesn’t look great” in regard to Del Rio’s potential injury, which came late in the third quarter when North Texas defensive end Joshua Wheeler collided into the quarterback’s planted left leg as he followed through on a throw.
Now that Del Rio’s status is perhaps better than many feared when the hit occurred, McElwain was asked if he took the diagnosis as good news in that it isn’t a season-ending injury?
“You know, I don’t look at it as good news at all because it still wasn’t right,” McElwain said. “But I mean, as good of news as it is, you know, he didn’t have to go under the knife yet, so that to me is a positive.”
As for the true freshmen quarterbacks, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier gave an update on their progress earlier this month, complimenting the development of both Trask and Franks.