As Florida heads into a bye weekend ahead of a showdown with No. 3 LSU in The Swamp, the No. 11 Gators could be on the verge of regaining a key piece of its defensive puzzle.
Head coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday that he’s feeling “pretty optimistic” that Jelani Jenkins will be back on the field for the game against the Tigers. The linebacker hasn’t played since breaking his thumb in the first quarter of a Sept. 8 win over Texas A&M.
Jenkins will visit with a specialist on Friday, who will then give a thumbs up or down, so to speak, for the player’s availability in the key SEC matchup. Muschamp said that, in essence, Jenkins’ status will come down to his threshold for pain.
“If he were to play, it would be in a cast, and again that goes back to pain level and comfort level of playing with the cast,” the coach said. “There will be some sort of covering if he’s able to play. And right now we feel like he should be able to go. But again you never know until the guy looks at it. So I don’t want to sit there and say he’s going right now. I’m not ready to say that.”
Jenkins started the first two games this season after starting a total of 23 the previous two seasons.