Notebook: Gators healthy after season opener

Saturday went exactly how the Gators wanted, coming out with a win over Toledo in the season opener and a clean bill of health. Florida will return four suspended players this weekend and return starting running back Matt Jones, who has recovered from a viral infection. The Gators are unsure how many carries Jones will be able to handle during Saturday's noon kickoff at Miami.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp said the coaching staff would spend this week at practice monitoring Jones. He practiced in pads for the first time on Tuesday and went through warm ups before Saturday's game in full pads. He looked as healthy as the other players on the field, but the coaches elected to hold him out of the game.

He'll be on the field Saturday when the Gators take on Miami for the first time since 2008, but no one is certain of how many snaps he'll be able to play.

"Matt will play this week," Muschamp said. "He certainly will. We feel pretty good about his progress. As we work through the week, we'll be able to know how much he will be able to contribute, but he certainly will play."

The injury news from Saturday all came back positive for Florida.

Left tackle D.J. Humphries came out of the game with an MCL sprain. He will return to practice partially on Tuesday before a full return on Wednesday.

Linebacker Darrin Kitchens pulled a muscle in his oblique. He will miss "a couple days" of practice but is expected to play on Saturday.

Defensive tackle Dominique Easley has the flu and will return to practice on Tuesday.

Fullback Hunter Joyer was limited on Saturday after missing some reps during practice last Monday and Tuesday. When he got on the field, his hamstring injury tightened up and kept him off the field. It allowed Gideon Ajagbe to play and score a touchdown, but Muschamp expects Joyer to be fully back this weekend.

FRESHMEN RECEIVERS: The hype around Demarcus Robinson was high before Saturday's game, but he wasn't the freshman receiver that made his first reception on Saturday. Freshman Ahmad Fulwood caught a third-down pass and picked up five yards, just enough for a first down. He caught a pass over the middle of the field and got up field immediately.

"We're going to get him more involved this week," Muschamp said of Fulwood. "That's something we talked about yesterday."

Fulwood will get more action this weekend

The Gators threw two passes for Robinson. One was tipped at the line of scrimmage on a hitch route that was designed to match Robinson up in a one-on-one situation. Another play was designed for him, but Toledo changed coverage before the snap that took the throw elsewhere.

"He had two outstanding blocks," Muschamp said of Robinson. "On one, he climbed and sealed another defender for about a 15-yard gain on a screen, so very instinctive play on his part, especially the first time playing.

"Both guys played well. Their roles will continue to increase."

AJAGBE NEW ROLE: With Joyer expected to be fully healthy this weekend, Muschamp was clear to point out that Ajagbe wouldn't disappear from the field. Even if Joyer is lined up as a true fullback, Ajagbe can feature into the offense as a move tight end.

"The thing about Gideon is he's got length," Muschamp said. "He can play the fullback position. He can also be a move tight end for us, which he didn't play as much Saturday because of Hunter's situation. When Hunter gets back, you're able to use Gideon as a slot, as a move guy that can create some leverage on formations, which is going to help you in the run game with what you're trying to do.

"He does a nice job of denting the edge as far as leveraging some formations for us with Hunter still being the fullback at the fullback position. Putting those two guys on the field together helps us a lot."

Ajagbe gives the Gators options


Fightin Gators Top Stories