Florida coach Jim McElwain said the team was without nine players at practice on Monday because of the flu, but he believes the illness has run its course as the team heads into Thursday. The Gators continue preparations for No. 3 Ole Miss on Saturday.
“Some guys were pretty weak today, but I think it has run its course,” McElwain said. “We try to make sure that you’re practicing Wednesday to be able to play on Saturday, so there were some guys that were out there pushing themselves to make it. Like I said, this stuff has hit us pretty quick and who knows come game time where we’ll be at. At the same time, if somebody can’t be there then somebody else will. That’s how we approach what we do.”
McElwain wouldn’t disclose any of the players that have been battling the flu since the end of Saturday’s win against Tennessee. Players started receiving IVs as early as Sunday, but McElwain did admit it could impact preparation for Saturday.
It also could have impacted a slow start to practice on Wednesday. McElwain had to re-start multiple periods when the team didn’t start fast, but after they fought through it in the early periods, the focus was where the staff wanted it to be.
“I thought their focus after that point actually looked pretty decent,” McElwain said. “We still have a lot of work to do heading into a perfect Thursday. The things that we had are all correctable. We feel real good about that.”
Other than the flu, the injury report is fairly clean for Florida.
Tight end C’yontai Lewis (hand) has been practicing with a hard cast on his hand, but he did everything at practice on Wednesday except catching. He knows the game plan and can play when the team figures out if he’s capable of wearing a smaller cast that will allow him to catch.
Wide receiver C.J. Worton pulled up in practice on Wednesday with a leg injury but the severity was unknown. Offensive lineman Trip Thurman (shoulder), linebacker Antonio Morrison and defensive end Jordan Sherit were all limited in practice on Wednesday but their status is not in jeopardy.
“We really should be OK except for the sickness,” McElwain said.