Two area starters will miss Florida Gators season opener against Toledo
Senior starting right guard Jon Halapio will miss at least the first two games of the season, and sophomore running back Matt Jones has been ruled out for the season opener against Toledo, Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp said today.
Halapio, a St. Petersburg Catholic alum, has a torn pectoral muscle and has not practiced at all in fall camp. He has started 33 games in his career.
"Jon Halapio right now would project for Tennessee," Muschamp said. "I think that his pec is filling in and we feel really comfortable where he is, but certainly being his senior year we don't want to push it with him. But I would safely project for Tennessee. Possibly before that, but I would certainly say Tennessee."
Jones was stricken with a viral infection earlier this month and also has not practiced. He has not been cleared by team doctors to return and is expected to have more blood work taken on Monday.
"He will be out for Toledo," Muschamp said. "He's questionable from there on out, but he's doing very well. He's really progressing well as far as - they're putting more on him each day as far as physical activity and lifting and different things. I've been very pleased with how he's progressed."
Both are big losses for the Gators. Jones finished strong at the end of last season and had an impressive spring camp. He was expected to be the Gators' No. 1 at RB. Without him, Mack Brown, walk-on Mark Herndon and converted RB Valedez Showers are expected to share the role.
Also, TB Hunter Joyer (hamstring) and DB Vernon Hargreaves III (shoulder) have been cleared to return to practice on Monday. Both are expected to play in Saturday's game.