Gators preparing to open the season without runing back Matt Jones
With 12 days remaing before the season opener against Toledo, Florida RB Matt Jones still has not been cleared to play and the Gators are preparing as if they won't have Jones for at least the first game.
Jones has missed all of preseason camp after he was stricken with a serious viral infection in early August. He is scheduled to meet with doctors today, but there is still no set timetable for his return.
"Matt Jones is getting some blood work done this afternoon," Muschamp said. "So, you know, he’s got his weight back up, he’s about up to 223. When this happened he was 226. I’ll know a little bit more as we move through the week, but he’s been jogging and moving around a little bit more which is good."
Muschamp said because Jones' status has been so unclear, the team has proceeded as if he won't be playing in the Toledo game - something Muschamp said he'd do in any injury situation.
“We’ve planned that way the whole time," he said. "When you get into a situation - I’m not just talking about Matt, I’m talking about any player - when you have an injury situation or a medical situation, you always plan without them and if they’re there, it’s gravy. You always plan without them. That’s what I do through camp all the time. We’ll be in the middle of a scrimmage and I’ll say, ‘So and so’s down.' I don’t tell the staff before it, but now we’ve gotta make an adjustment. That’s what happens in the game. This guy’s out. What are we doing? We’ve gotta make adjustments on the run in a game situation, knowing what I know we will do. Any time you have something like this and you’re in uncharted waters and you’re uncertain of it, you always plan without the player. If the player’s there, it’s great. That’s gravy for everybody.”
As of now, the Gators' RB depth chart consists of Mack Brown, Mark Herndon and Valdez Showers, Muschamp said.