Gators may get LB Jelani Jenkins back for LSU game
It's possible Florida could have junior LB Jelani Jenkins back in the its lineup for the Oct. 6 LSU game, Florida coach Will Muschamp said today.
Jenkins broke his thumb early in the Texas A&M game and has not played since.
"He's going to see a specialist on Friday and they are going to remove the pin from his thumb,'' Muschamp said. "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. 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.''
Muschamp said if Jenkins is able to return, and it's still only a possibility right now, he's uncertain how well he'll be able to play with a cast.
"I don't even know what kind of cast it will be, how big it will be, how small it will be,'' he said. "I have no idea. I just know he sees a specialist on Friday. I asked Anthony Pass this morning in the staff meeting what do you think about him playing LSU game? He said coach we'll see, if everything goes as we feel like is planned, there's a possibility of that, but he'll probably be in a cast. And that's about all we said. So I don't know. I'm a little bit in the dark on all of this until he meets with a specialist.''
Jenkins started 12 games for the Gators last season and finished third in tackles with 75. Gator defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said his return would be a huge boost for the Florida defense heading into the LSU game.
"I certainly hope so,'' Quinn said about the possibility of Jenkins playing. "For us, he provides some real speed for us on the field. I think the guy's a terrific blitzer. He can certainly matchup tight-end wise when we get into our nickel package. And then just his experience playing linebacker. I don't think you can overlook that. So those three things, to me, would be big if we could get him back into our lineup. Hopefully everything goes well with his checkup moving forward.''