GAINESVILLE — Florida LB Jelani Jenkins, out since breaking his right thumb against Texas A&M on Sept. 8, likely will play Saturday against No. 4 LSU, coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday.
Muschamp said he won't limit Jenkins, who will wear a cast.
"If he can play, then he can play," he said. "That means he can play on first and 10, he can play on third down."
Freshman Antonio Morrison and sophomore Mike Taylor have 16 and 14 tackles, respectively, in place of Jenkins. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn praised their efforts but said it would be a boost for the 10th-ranked Gators to get Jenkins back.
"One, from an experience standpoint, where he's played the position and been in it," Quinn said. "Two, from an ability to cover. He's a guy that we certainly match up well when we do our nickel stuff. And he's a good blitzer."
More injuries: DT Dominique Easely (knee), DT Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), TE Jordan Reed (concussion) and RB Trey Burton (back spasms) are expected to play. DB Cody Riggs (foot) and OL Matt Patchan (pectoral muscle) will not.
USF: Daniels does little
TAMPA — QB B.J. Daniels didn't take snaps at practice, but USF coach Skip Holtz said it was to rest his injured ankle.
"He's cleared to go (Saturday), but we keep trying to pull him back a little bit," Holtz said. "I want him to be as close to 100 percent as we can. So I'm trying to get him what he needs during the course of the day and then get him out of there."
Redshirt freshman Matt Floyd, 3-for-7 over three appearances, took most of the snaps.
Moving up: USF has primarily used a three-man rotation at defensive end, Ryne Giddins and Tevin Mims starting all five games. But junior Julius Forte has worked with the first team the past two days ahead of Giddins and could start Saturday.
"We feel like we have three defensive ends, and we've been playing them all," Holtz said.
Each has only 1½ tackles for loss but Giddins none since the opening possession of the season. Holtz said there are a few possibilities why Giddins hasn't made more plays.
"He's not getting very many one-on-ones," he said. "He's fighting through a whole lot more double-teams, and the quarterback's getting rid of the ball quicker. Some of it is probably a little bit of frustration. Some of it has been about what we're getting."
MORE INJURIES: DT Cory Grissom left practice early due to an eye injury Holtz said he sustained when scratched Saturday against Florida State. … LBs Reshard Cliett (hamstring) and Tashon Whitehurst (knee) did not practice and are "starting to get on the doubtful side" for Saturday, Holtz said.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer
FSU: End can improve
TALLAHASSEE — Hidden behind DE Cornellius Carradine's big stats and bigger hits is a secret, FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said: He has barely scratched the surface of his potential.
"He's a phenomenal football player. Don't get me wrong," he said. "(But) we've still got to clean up a couple of things with him."
Inserted into the starting rotation after preseason All-America DE Brandon Jenkins was lost for the season with a foot injury, Carradine, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound junior college transfer, has a team-high 28 tackles and ACC-high seven sacks. But coaches have worked to change his belief that defensive ends need only one trick in their arsenal.
"It was ingrained in him that speed rushing ends were the guys that made all the money," Fisher said. "But his ability to show his power and speed now have really made him a much better player."
Miami: 15th freshman
CORAL GABLES — Miami has played 14 true freshmen this season. At some positions, it had no choice. At receiver, there was some leeway. That allowed freshmen such as Robert Lockhart time to adjust. And Saturday, he could become No. 15.
"I don't want to put him out there if he can't play fast because he's not going to be successful," coach Al Golden said. "That's the one thing with playing freshmen. You can leave them with a lasting image in their mind that's negative."
South Florida Sun Sentinel