Flu bug hits Florida

The Gators have an opportunity to bounce back from last week's loss to Georgia, but multiple players have been slowed by the flu bug and missed time on the practice field this week. Defensive tackle Leon Orr is the only player that has been ruled out with the flu when Missouri comes to town on Saturday.

Leon Orr was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday to get fluids into his body, but Muschamp said he "has gotten really sick." The head coach estimated it being a 72-hour deal, but Orr will be held out on Saturday.

The flu bug has made its way through some members of the team this week. Matt Elam missed time at practice on Wednesday, while "a couple" were held out on Monday and two missed on Tuesday.

"We've been hit pretty good this week," Will Muschamp said.

The Gators will have some injuries to fight through. Linebacker Lerentee McCray and offensive tackle Xavier Nixon are both questionable for the game, but Muschamp expected both to practice on Thursday and play in the game.

"I would expect both of them to play at this point unless something changes," Muschamp said.

If McCray is held out of the game, Muschamp said it will be Neiron Ball and Dante Fowler that see time on the field. With the five-wide sets that Missouri prefers to run, Florida will have plenty of defensive backs on the field Saturday.

Fowler has recorded one sack this season, but Muschamp said the freshman has come along quickly this season. He'll be counted on to contribute in a big way on Saturday.

"Hard to play as a freshman in any situation, much less the SEC," Muschamp said. "I think he's been very productive. You look at him, Jon Bullard and Antonio Morrison all of those guys have been very productive for true freshmen. Been very pleased with what they have been able to accomplish."

The challenge for this week will be for Florida to come out with an intensity level necessary to win the SEC. After losing last week to Georgia, the goal of playing the SEC Championship game took a major hit, as Florida has to beat Missouri and hope Georgia loses to either Ole Miss or Auburn for that goal to be reached.

This week in practice gives Muschamp hope that the Gators will be able to get over that hurdle.

"Kids are pretty resilient," Will Muschamp said. "We had a really good Tuesday and an OK (Wednesday), and looking forward to getting back out today and getting to work.

RIGGS REDSHIRT POSSIBLE: Cody Riggs (foot) rejoined practice last week and participated some on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Muschamp sat down with Riggs on Tuesday and talked to his family. A redshirt isn't out of the question.

"Right now, we probably would apply for a medical based (redshirt) on the time in the season left, but I told him I can't make any promises for the simple reason of injury," Muschamp said. "We still have a lot of the games to go."

Riggs hasn't been full speed and has been limited in practice. The coaches don't want to throw him back onto the field until his health is back, and the injury is fully healed.

"We've got to just kind of continue to evaluate the situation," Muschamp said. "We've made no 100% decision yet at all. (A redshirt is) probably where we're heading."


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