The Injured Crew: How Gators who have missed spring fit into the equation

Landon Watnick, Beat Writer
Inside the Gators
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Alex Shepherd/Inside the Gators

At a number of positions this spring, including running back, wide receiver, linebacker, and in the secondary, the Gators have been somewhat shorthanded. While much of that has to do with Florida waiting for 18 signees from the 2017 recruiting class to arrive this summer, the Gators have been entirely without a number of key contributors on both side of the ball this spring.

While redshirt junior wide receiver Dre Massey, redshirt freshman cornerback C.J. McWilliams and freshman early enrollee linebacker James Houston - each coming back from torn ACLs – have been participants in non-contact work this spring, nine other Gators on scholarship have been sidelined this spring with various injuries.

Now, Inside the Gators takes a closer look at how each of those players fit into Florida’s plans for the 2017 season.

-- Redshirt junior quarterback Luke Del Rio (two shoulder surgeries) – Del Rio, who was hampered by knee and shoulder injuries during the 2016 season, has been sidelined from spring practices after undergoing a surgical procedure for his non-throwing shoulder in January and then surgery for his throwing shoulder in March. While Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask receive the bulk of the reps this spring, Del Rio should be good to return by fall camp. It’s a possibility a number of Gators fans aren’t huge supporters of, but Del Rio could end up being a factor in Florida’s quarterback competition this fall once he returns. Much of it may depend on how far along Franks and Trask are by the end of the summer. Still, it wouldn’t be a positive sign for the long-term outlook of Florida’s quarterback position if Franks and/or Trask can’t beat out Del Rio, who often struggled in 2016.

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