Tape It Up: Florida: Playing Through Pain

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Florida: Playing Through Pain

Florida wide receiver Andre Caldwell's sprained ligament is serious enough to keep him out of Saturday's SEC opener against Tennessee, but plenty of other Gators will take on the Vols, despite a variety of lingering ailments.

Return specialist Brandon James' sprained ankle will not keep him off the field on Saturday and wide receivers Jarred Fayson and Percy Harvin will play through a knee injury and tendinitis, respectively. James hurt the ankle against Troy, altough he still managed to come up with 159 total return yards against the Trojans. He is back up to full speed, just where the Gators want him as they open up conference play.

Cornerback Markihe Anderson will also play Saturday as he battles through a sprained MCL. Head coach Urban Meyer said the sophomore will not take the first rep, but he should see significant playing time.

If the Gators' coaching staff could choose a game to push their banged-up players to participate in, this might be it. Welcoming No. 22 Tennessee to the Swamp is a big deal for the fifth-ranked Gators, and putting the Vols away early will be an even bigger deal. Florida has the edge coming into this matchup for reasons beyond the game's location, but having as many key contributors on the field as possible is key to a convincing Gator victory. The nation will certainly be watching as these two powerhouses square off and Florida would obviously like to make a statement early, which is a lot easier with James, a member of the 2006 Florida track team, on his feet returning kicks.

The Unlucky Ones
Caldwell will remain out for the game after spraining his MCL in the third quater of the Gators' 59-31 win over Troy last week. Although head coach Urban Meyer said that the injury is not painful, there is the possibility that the fifth-year senior will miss more than just the first game on Florida's SEC slate. The Gators certainly want Caldwell back ASAP - a co-captain and rpeseason All-SEC selection, Meyer calls him one of the team's most polished receivers. Through two games, he has four receptions for 111 yards.

Sophomore Riley Cooper and junior Cornelius Ingram will have the opportunity to take Caldwell's place alongside Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy as the third receiver in the Gators' primary three-receiver set. Cooper caught four passes for 122 yards and two TDs against Western Kentucky in the first game of the season, while Ingram pulled in seven passes for 105 yards and a score against Troy.

Safety Bryan Thomas will also miss Saturday's game, joining Caldwell on the MCL sprain wagon.

Offensive tackle Phil Trautwein is still out indefinitely with a stress fracture in his right foot. Meyer said the senior will miss at least the next two games, but is in danger of missing the entire season.

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