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Florida closer to healthy heading into winner-takes-all game vs. South Carolina

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Florida DT Jaye Howard has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

For the first time in a while, Florida is closer to being healthy. Here’s the latest update from coach Urban Meyer:

– DT Jaye Howard is “looking promising,” Meyer said. Howard did not travel with the team and has not played in its past two games. He has been out since spraining his ankle vs. Mississippi State on Oct. 16.

– RB Jeff Demps, whose season has been effectively wiped out by a sprained foot he suffered Sept. 18, will play vs. South Carolina, Meyer said, added that he didn’t know how much.

“We’ll know more later in the week, but he had a good day yesterday,” Meyer said.

Demps missed his second game of the season on Saturday. He did not play against Vanderbilt or LSU, and has been limited in all the other games (Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi State and Georgia) since hurting his foot.

– OL Matt Patchan is still out with a wrist injury he suffered in the preseason. Meyer said he is seeing a specialist.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to be fixed,” Meyer said. “It’s a problem I don’t want to get into now, but there’s a problem with his wrist. His career will be fine, but the remainder of the year is up in the air.”

Meyer would not say if Patchan would request a medical redshirt.

– Kicker Caleb Sturgis will not play this week. He has been out since the beginning of October with a hairline fracture in his vertebrae.

looking promising

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K Caleb Sturgis will not play Saturday, LG Carl Johnson strains calf and other injury updates

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Florida LG Carl Johnson strained his calf in practice on Tuesday. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

Florida coach Urban Meyer updated the media on the Gators’ injury situation on the SEC teleconference on Wednesday morning:

– Kicker Caleb Sturgis will not play again this week. He has been out since the beginning of October with a hairline fracture in his vertebrae. He kicked last week to try to get ready for Georgia, but felt pain and could not play. Sturgis has not kicked this week.

– LG Carl Johnson is wearing a boot after straining his calf in practice Tuesday. Meyer expects him to play at Vanderbilt on Saturday.

– WR Andre Debose (ankle) is “closer” to returning. Meyer expected him to be limited in practice today and said he hoped he can practice full on Thursday.

– DT Jaye Howard (ankle) did not practice Tuesday but Meyer said he hoped he could practice today.

– RB Jeff Demps (foot) is being evaluated daily.

– RBs Mike Gillislee (hamstring) and Emmanuel Moody (thigh) are healthy. Neither was 100 percent vs. Georgia, Meyer said.

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WR Chris Rainey to play, K Caleb Sturgis out and more Gators news heading into Georgia game

Content provided by Swamp Things – Gators Blog.

WR Chris Rainey will play Saturday vs. Georgia after a five-game suspension. (Orlando Sentinel photo)

Coming off a bye and facing rival Georgia on Saturday, Florida had several player updates on Thursday.

– WR Chris Rainey will play for the first time since September. He was arrested Sept. 14 and subsequently suspended. He was reinstated Oct. 10 after his legal case was resolved and had to meet conditions to be able to play. Coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday that Rainey had done that, and added Thursday that he would play vs. the Bulldogs. He has missed five games.

– Kicker Caleb Sturgis, who was expected to return this week from a hairline fracture in his vertebrae, will not play. Meyer said he had pain when he kicked Wednesday and that when Sturgis could return is unclear. Chas Henry, who has kicked field goals and extra points the past three games, will play in his spot. Henry has missed three field goals, including two vs. Mississippi State. Meyer said Henry made all his field goals in practice Thursday and that he feels comfortable with him inside 40 yards.

– The Gators’ injured RBs got better. Mike Gillislee (hamstring) and Emmanuel Moody (thigh) are 100 percent, Meyer said.

“Dempsy is pretty good. We’re gonna rest him tomorrow. He went pretty good today,” Meyer said. “It’s the best he’s been in whatever it’s been, five weeks. He’s not 100 percent yet, but I’m hoping he’s going to be 100 percent at game time.”

– Sprained ankles have hobbled WR Andre Debose and DT Jaye Howard. Both are traveling with the team but Meyer said he doesn’t expect them to play a lot.

– CB Moses Jenkins (elbow) will be available to play for the first time since getting hurt in the season opener.

– OL Matt Patchan (wrist) will not play. He has been trying to return since breaking his wrist in preseason. Meyer was optimistic during the bye week but said Thursday that he’s not ready.

“I just want that kid around. He’s my guy. He’s the guy you want on that bus when you’re going to Jacksonville,” said Meyer, who has praised Patchan for being a high-energy guy. “I love that guy.”

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