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Struggling with a foot injury for five weeks, Florida RB Jeff Demps had his first touchdown since the USF game when he scored vs. Georgia on Saturday. (Photo by Gary W. Green, Orlando Sentinel)
As difficult as the past month has been for the Gators, it’s been just as tough for their star running back.
While Florida was in a three-game losing streak, speedster Jeff Demps could do little but watch. He’s been dealing with a sprained foot since Sept. 18, when one of the Gators’ linemen stepped on it in a game at Tennessee.
Demps has missed only one game (LSU) but has not been as productive as he was before his foot injury.
“At times I have gotten frustrated, but at the same time, I have to stay positive and keep my teammates going,” Demps said of his inability to contribute as much as he did earlier in the season. ”
Demps, who initially wore a boot to protect his foot, said his reps in practice have been limited to about 20-25 each day.
Running straight isn’t a problem, but cutting is. Taping hasn’t helped so he wears only a soft brace and sock. He has alternated heat and ice to help it. Because his foot stiffens at halftime when he is sitting, Demps said he rides a bike to keep warm – something he did in high school when he would frequently cramp up.
While he’s doing what he can to get back to his early season form, Demps said it is still difficult at times.
“It’s like sharp pains going through the top of my foot, and on the outside of it,” he said. “When I try to cut, it’s kind of hard because I have that sharp pain and I can’t really push off it like I want to.
“It’s coming along pretty good, slowly but surely.”