Florida just can't catch seem to catch a break this season as the injuries just continue to pile up. First starting quarterback, Jeff Driskel, suffered a broken fibula with no possibility of returning this season. Now, senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley has suffered a season-ending injury. According to Sports Illustrated, Easley only “tweaked” his knee in practice on Tuesday. However, his injuries were later determined to be more extensive than the initial outward assessment.
Florida Gators' head coach Will Muschamp, later confirmed that Easley did, indeed, tear the anterior cruciate ligament and medical meniscus in his right knee. His injury will require surgery, which will keep him out for the remainder of the season.
“Watching any of your players go through this is one of the hardest things about being a coach. Obviously, it is hardest on Dominique. We are disappointed for him, but we will be there for him every step of the way through his surgery and rehab process," admitted Muschamp.
Regardless of the season-ending injury, Easley took to Twitter to ensure fans that he was in good spirits in spite of having to forfeit his senior year on the field. The Alligator Army, Florida's fan-base nickname, re-tweeted his post to share it with all of the team's fans. His statement, while bittersweet, denoted a laudable sense of optimism and keen sportsmanship.
MT @MR_ChUcKiE_2: Gatornation thank you for all of 4 yrs of sticking wi th me but god has something else planned for and have no worries
— Alligator Army (@AlligatorArmy) September 25, 2013
The Gators' injured quarterback, Jeff Driskel, also took to twitter to share his sentiments for his teammate:
Prayers for Easley and his family. Tough break.
— Jeff Driskel (@jeffdriskel) September 25, 2013
Easley, a native of Staten Island, N.Y. was a major component for Florida's defensive. Standing 6-foot-2, weighing in at 280 pounds, Easley had five tackles, with two tackles for loss in the three games he has played for this 2013 season. Number 20 Florida, (2-1) ranks second nationwide in total defense, which equates to a yardage allowance of approximately 212.3 yards a game.
Nothing gets past that Gator defense. Let's just hope they can maintain that line of demarcation where the line of scrimmage is concerned. The Gators journey to Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington to take on the University of Kentucky. The Gators must continue to hold that line in wake of the present injuries.
Image via Dominique Easley | Twitter