The Florida Gators are once again dealing with depth issues heading into their final game of the 2022 regular season against Florida State.
After rejoining wide receiver Justin Shorter a week ago for the Vanderbilt game, No. 4 is back on the injury report this week. He’s not the only starting receiver listed as “out” this week, either. The team’s No. 2 tight end Xavier Henderson will not play against the Seminoles and starting slot receiver Ricky Pearsall is “questionable” after missing most of last week’s game.
Pearsall suffered an upper body injury against the Commodores but Billy Napier expects him to be ready on Friday. Ja’Quavion Fraziars, Marcus Burke and Thai Chiaokhiao-Bowman won’t be available either.
In place of Shorter and Henderson will be redshirt freshman Daejon Reynolds and true freshman Caleb Douglas. Reynolds had a breakout game against Vanderbilt last week, leading the team with 165 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches. He threw just one pass and came back two plays later with the second score.
Douglas got the start against South Carolina and hauled in three catches for 53 yards. He has appeared in six games so far this season and has two touchdowns on the year.
Keon Zipperer is still dealing with a lower-body injury that has him listed as questionable and up to third on the depth chart. If he’s fully healthy, Zipperer could get some of his snaps back, but there doesn’t seem to be much optimism that he’ll be ready to go. Dante Zanders and Jonathan Odom should be Florida’s two primary tight ends this week. True freshman Arlis Boardingham is also on the depth chart for the first time after being injured for most of the year.
Florida has less depth issues on the defensive side of things. Safety Rashad Torrence II is listed as the starter this week, but suffered an injury during the Vanderbilt game that could limit him. Florida’s other starting safety, Trey Dean, said the team would be fine with either true freshman Kamari Wilson or Miguel Mitchell stepping up in place of Torrence.
Finally, linebackers Derek Wingo and Shemar James are expected to see the field a little more often with Ventrell Miller likely to miss the first half of the game after being ruled out for targeting against Vanderbilt.
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