This year’s Gators Football tackles leader, linebacker Shemar James, is out for the season after dislocating his kneecap in last week’s (43-20) loss to Georgia.
What Does This Mean?
The Gators defense takes a massive hit with this devastating news. Jones had the most tackles on the team by double digit figures and was a consistent leader both on and off the field. Although the Gators have the personnel to minimalize the loss, James’ presence on the field as a consistent starter and captain for the team is difficult to be replicated.
In his absence, players such as juniors; Mannie Nunnery, and Derek Wingo, should step up in his absence. Freshman Linebacker, Jaden Robinson has reportedly been impressive in practice and may see action.
— Keith Niebuhr (@On3Keith) November 2, 2023
Defense Can’t Catch a Break
Two key members of the Gator Defensive Line are also listed as questionable now. Junior Cam Jackson and Sophomore Tyreak Sapp are both listed as questionable with upper body injuries. Both have been vital to Florida’s ability to stop the run game.
If the Gators were to go into Arkansas’s game with their current injuries, the defense would look foreign. This is in addition to the Gators Defensive Line already being short staffed after starter, Justus Boone went down with an ACL tear in the preseason.
How to Respond?
Florida hasn’t backed down despite being battered with injuries. Optimism is still high in the locker room after a (43-20) beatdown from Georgia. The mentality has been “next man up” as Florida will continue to throw everything in their rotation.
Making something out of nothing is something that is synonymous with Gators Football. Being able to adapt and change when the worst happens is one of the biggest parts of a great football team.