Neal and Ivey questionable for the Gators

As Jim McElwain heads into his first game as the head coach of the Florida Gators, it appears two of his projected starters will be out with injuries.

With just three days left before the season opener of Jim McElwain’s first campaign as the Florida head coach the team overall is in pretty good health. However, projected starting left tackle and true freshman Martez Ivey and starting safety junior Keanu Neal have missed some practice time as of late for injuries.

Ivey had arthroscopic surgery on his knee on Friday and the word on the street is that it would take 2-4 weeks to heal. He is supposedly ahead of schedule and there is talk he could return much sooner.

Neal has an undisclosed injury to his ‘leg’ and has missed about a week and a half of fall practice. He was expected back sooner, but things have carried on and now we are in game week with questions about them.

McElwain does not let injured players enter the practice field, they have to spend all of their practice time rehabilitating their injury.

“Both of them kind of moved around a little bit and as you know we kind of try and keep them in the facility as we’re doing it,” McElwain said Wednesday during his SEC teleconference. “We just finished up meeting today and kind of got a report and I am excited about where they’re at and at the same time you know I won’t put anyone out there that isn’t at game speed. I would say right now they would be questionable (for Saturday). I will address all those injuries as we are going forward after (Wednesday’s) practice.

With Ivey out, senior transfer Mason Halter likely moves into the starting lineup. He, sophomore David Sharpe, and true freshman Fredrick Johnson will all get snaps at tackle.

The Gators will already be missing junior safety Marcus Maye who is suspended for the opener against New Mexico State. A deep and talented position now suddenly isn’t so deep. Sophomores Duke Dawson, Nick Washington, and Marcell Harris will get a lot of playing time as well as senior cornerback Brian Poole who will move over some and play at the position in Saturday’s game.

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