Ingram out for the season with torn ACL
Florida coach Urban Meyer just confirmed what has been suspected since Wednesday night's practice: redshirt senior tight end Cornelius Ingram is out for the season with a torn ACL and his Gator career is over.
"He's going to have surgery sometime next week,'' a solemn Meyer said.
Ingram injured his left knee during non-contact drills during Tuesday's practice. It is the third non-contact season-ending injury for a Gator player this preseason. Safeties Dorian Munroe and John Curtis were also injured in the same manner.
"It's hard to imagine,'' Meyer said. "Three non-contact injuries. That's a tough deal.''
The injury is a tough blow to the Gator offense, particularly since the staff spent much of the summer working on potential two-tight end sets involving Ingram and sophomore Aaron Hernandez. Now the Gators could be forced to scrap that idea, or rely on redshirt senior Tate Casey, who showed promise in his freshman season, but has played sparingly since.
A large group of players visited Ingram at his home Wednesday night to offer comfort.
"We wanted to let him know that everything's going to be okay,'' quarterback Tim Tebow said. "He's got a good perspective about it.''
While talking with the media Thursday night, Meyer seemed visibly upset.
"He's such a great leader, a great kid, one of my favorite players of all time,'' he said of Ingram.
He said the Gators' practice improved over Wednesday's lackluster effort and he's hoping the team will rebound from the devastating loss of Ingram.
"I'm hoping that the chemistry on this is so strong that they, when a guy goes down you have to
play a little harder,'' he said. "The national championship year, we had an offensive lineman break his leg and two others get hurt realy in the same practice. Brandon James missed the first three or four games and one of our best players got thrown off the team (Marcus Thomas). If you have a good team obviously you have some good players, it's a little tighter and you go a little harder.''