Less than a month after losing starting QB Jeff Driskel to a broken leg and DT Dominique Easley to a knee injury the Florida Gators are adding another tent to the M.A.S.H. unit. Sophomore RB Matt Jones, who overcame an offseason infection and early season bout with fumbleitis to win the Gators starting job, was sidelined with a knee injury during Saturday's loss to LSU. Jones required surgery to repair a torn meniscus yesterday and is done for the season.
The losses of Driskell, Easley and Jones are undoubtedly the most costly for Florida this season, but they're drops in a rapidly filling bucket. Starting tackle Chaz Green is done for 2013 after injuring his labrum, and backups Andre Debose, Matt Rolin, and Nick Washington have all seen their year halted by injuries.
With three Top 15 opponents in their next four weeks (Missouri, Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina), and a visit from Florida State next month, Florida can't afford to lose anyone else. Their lights out defense needs depth in the front seven to keep squaring off against SEC running games. The struggling offense, already ranked 104th in the nation in scoring, needs reliable production from the skill positions to keep pace with more talented opponents. They won't get either if they can't stay healthy.
Florida's only a game out in the SEC East today, but they're a dead team walking in the conference race if the training staff can't stay on the sideline this month.