Ronald Powell, Solomon Patton have strong empathy for injured teammates
Within a span of three days the Florida Gators have lost two starters and emotional leaders on their football team.
Florida QB Jeff Driskel underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair the fibula in his right leg, which he injured in this past Saturday's game against Tennessee.
And on Wednesday, Florida announced that senior DT Dominique Easley will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL suffered in Tuesday night's practice.
Florida has now lost five players for the season to injuries since August.
For players like Solomon Patton and Ronald Powell, the injuries hit close to home. Patton was lost for the season in the 2012 Georgia game when he broke his leg. And Powell has suffered two ACL injuries in his career - missing all of last season.
He said his advice to his injured teammates will be to face it head on.
"Like I said for everybody, just embrace it," Powell said. "It's done already. Whatever you've got ahead of you is ahead of you. It's ahead of you, just take it on."
Patton said he would wait several days before trying to talk to the injured players, because he remembers how tough it was in the early days after his injury.
"People kept trying to talk to me, telling me to keep my head up, but I really didn't want to hear that right then," he said. "But I would tell them to just stay around people. It's going to be tough making it back, but you have to stay around your friends and teammates. That's important."
Florida OC Brent Pease said Driskel is already showing signs that he'll remain involved as much as possible.
"He's still a part of our team," Pease said. "He's gonna be involved. I mean, he's just not to be out there physcially doing some things, so you gotta find a way to as coaches keep him involved. Because I don't want him to just disappear and not be around. He's gotta be around. He's gotta stay in tune with what we're doing offensively."