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Despite (or perhaps because) he only saw a minority of snaps on the field in the Gators’ first two games, backup quarterback Anthony Richardson has set Florida’s fanbase ablaze. A redshirt freshman local to the Gainesville area, he’s managed to make a massive impression in his limited playing time by his fearless play style and impressive physical gifts.
As the Gators prepare to take on the reigning NCAA champs, Richardson has been singled out as a key factor in the Gators’ quest to topple the Tide. Our own staff has pitched their hats into that ring as well. Staff writer Tyler Nettuno commented that “a breakout game from Anthony Richardson may be the team’s only chance to keep this one close” and managing editor Adam Dubbin wrote that “a few big plays by Anthony Richardson will keep things interesting and finally convince Mullen to give him the team’s reins.”
However, Richardson may never even get the chance.
In an exclusive report for Rivals, Nick de la Torre of GatorsTerritory commented that whether Richardson will play rests on the outcome of an MRI being done Saturday morning. Twice in the brief report, it’s said that Richardson expects to be cleared by game time. However, the surrounding context is a little less encouraging. Evidently, he’s been getting “extensive treatment” throughout the week and has gone so far as to prioritize a speedy recovery from his hamstring injury over his attendance in class.
Based on his performance alone, there would be no question as to whether Richardson would play against ‘Bama on Saturday. However, he suffered a non-contact injury to his hamstring on a touchdown run against South Florida.
Could’ve hit 22 if I didn’t feel that hammy at the 50.. 😭 https://t.co/s3Br8xHjsd
— Anthony Richardson † (@GVOaant) September 14, 2021
In the grand scheme, it probably makes little difference whether Richardson plays against Alabama. The Gators are heavy dogs in this one and only a tremendous performance from Florida and a tragic collapse from the Crimson Tide could overcome the disparity between the two teams. It’s frustrating to watch a young player gaining traction lose time in an big game, but might be wiser to play it safe if the MRI looks iffy than risk worsening his injury in a game that will likely end badly no matter what.