Citing unnamed Florida sources, Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post is reporting that, even if Tim Tebow is given medical clearance ahead of Florida’s Top-Five showdown with LSU, John Brantley will likely start at quarterback for the Gators.
Tebow has yet to step foot on the practice field — in fact, according to the Post, he’s barely been seen at UF’s football facility — since suffering a concussion in the win over Kentucky. There’s no timetable set for his return to practice, let alone his availability for the game against the Tigers.
Head coach Urban Meyer has said on a couple of occasions that Tebow is looking good, but he’s still yet to be cleared medically. Meyer also said Tebow has been symptom free for a few days and his status remains day to day.
The Post also spoke with Robert Cantu, a clinical professor of neurology at Boston University and a pioneer in concussion research over the past three decades, who seemed to take issue with Meyer saying that, even if Tebow returns to practice this week, he won’t allow the QB to get hit.
“The first hit you take is not in the game. It should be in practice,” Cantu said. “Normally, it’s better if the athlete has practiced the week that they’re going to play. And generally speaking, that’s certainly the ideal situation, so that you’ve taken hits during that week and you know that the hits that jar you are not producing symptoms.”
Based on all of the reports the last few days, it seems more and more like the Gators’ course of action should be to allow Tebow to sit out the LSU game and come back even healthier the following week, even if it were to mean an “L” this week.
They showed last year that they could overcome a conference loss and still win a national championship. What they may not be able to overcome, though, is the loss of their leader for an extended period of time.