Offensive lineman Roderick Johnson went down with an injury Florida coach Jim McElwain called “stinger-ish.” The injury occurred during Friday’s scrimmage, and there’s no timetable for when the redshirt sophomore could return. The Gators are currently in their final week of spring practice.
“We took a pretty big blow in the o-line with Rod Johnson, kind of went down and got banged up a little bit,” McElwain said on Monday.
Johnson’s fingers went numb after a play during Saturday’s scrimmage, and the Florida staff continues to check into some previous injuries that could have contributed.
“It hurts us in an area that we didn’t have a lot of people to begin with,” McElwain said.
Johnson has spent most of the spring playing right tackle for Florida. He could slide inside to play guard in the fall, but Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers said last week that he likes the stability of Johnson and David Sharpe playing the tackle positions.
ONE QUARTERBACK AHEAD: With all eyes on the quarterback battle between Will Grier and Treon Harris, McElwain admitted on Monday that Grier is ahead in the battle simply because he has been at practice more. Harris has missed multiple practices two weeks ago due to a death in his family. Skyler Mornhinweg is also in the quarterback battle, but it’s Grier and Harris that have received most of the reps in the open portions of practice.
“Just the fact that for an unfortunate situation in Treon’s life, obviously Will has been able to take the majority of the reps and Skyler has gotten a little bit better,” McElwain said.
SPRING GAME FORMAT SET: Johnson’s injury put the Gators at six scholarship offensive linemen during Monday’s practice. Even if the redshirt sophomore was healthy, the limited numbers would still make it tough for Florida to put together a normal spring game.
Instead of having a true spring game with two full teams, the Gators will have to use an offense against defense format. McElwain said they will create a scoring system to determine a winner and a loser. They’ll also work third-down, two-minute, overtime and red zone situations to get as much work for the team as possible.
“We're going to use a lot of work done, and we don't have the numbers to be able to have a true (game),” McElwain said.