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Florida WR Chris Rainey meets conditions for return to play, will be evaluated again Thursday

Florida
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WR Chris Rainey is likely to return vs. Georgia. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

Florida WR Chris Rainey is likely to play Saturday when Florida (4-3, 2-3 SEC) faces Georgia, coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, Rainey, who was suspended on Sept. 14 after his arrest, has met the conditions of his reinstatement that he agreed to two weeks ago.

“As of now, he’s done everything he’s supposed to do,” Meyer said on the SEC teleconference. “What is today? Wednesday? Tomorrow is the deadline that I set with him and myself, and I’ll just do a thorough check again tomorrow of everything we asked him to do.”

Rainey has missed five games while serving his suspension. With his legal case resolved, he was reinstated to the team Oct. 10 and was on the sideline in shorts and his jersey for the Gators’ game against Mississippi State on Oct. 15.

Rainey was arrested on Sept. 14 on a felony charge of aggravated stalking after texting his on-again, off-again girlfriend, “Time to Die (expletive).” He agreed to deferred prosecution on a misdemeanor charge of stalking on Sept. 27. He has already completed the required community service.

Without Rainey and several injured playmakers, the Gators have missed a big-play threat.

Meyer said Wednesday that Rainey could play running back as well as receiver, depending on how healthy the Gators’ backs are. Jeff Demps has been the biggest loss in the backfield as he has been hampered with a sprained foot for five weeks. RBs Mike Gillislee and Emmanuel Moody have also been hurt. Demps and Gillislee did not practice at full speed Tuesday.

“He’s very explosive, like a Percy type. I think he’s going to bring a lot of explosiveness to the offense,” said left tackle Marcus Gilbert on Monday. “He’s so much more mature.

“For him being suspended, that kind of hurt me. Just seeing him down, walking around campus with his hoodie on. He just wanted to be out here and play. I think he’s going to take full advantage of this chance.”


 




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