GAINESVILLE — Senior QB John Brantley's right arm injury was expected to keep him out of practice Monday, but he is scheduled to play when Florida plays at South Carolina on Saturday.
Florida coach Will Muschamp said the medical and training staff recommended that Brantley be held out Monday, but he anticipates him practicing today and being able to play in the game. Brantley missed the latter part of the third quarter and all of the fourth quarter of this past Saturday's win over Vanderbilt.
"It feels better," Brantley said Monday afternoon. "I took a good shot on it, but right now it's just bruised up, nothing more than that. It just didn't feel right and the trainers just thought it was best to hold me (out). It's just unfortunate I couldn't finish the game, but it's nothing major."
Brantley was hit between his right shoulder and elbow and experienced some numbness in his arm on Saturday. He has not thrown since. He has already missed 10 quarters this season with a high ankle sprain he suffered in the Oct. 1 game against Alabama. Brantley said he feels like he's almost 100 percent healthy.
"It's feeling better and better each day and each week," he said.
NO MORE ENTITLEMENT: The five-point win over Vanderbilt not only ended a four-game losing streak for the Gators but made life a little more bearable for the players. Senior DT Jaye Howard said he finally was "not ashamed to walk around on campus." And while the win was a relief, Howard said the slump may turn out to be good for the program. "It was a learning experience that we needed," he said. "It humbled a lot of people. It made us a very strong team. If you can stick together through that, you can stick together through anything."
Howard, a fifth-year senior who has enjoyed some of the success of championship teams, said there was a sense among players, including himself, that the Gators were invincible.
"Since I've been here I always thought that we could go out any given day and beat anyone," Howard said. "It just made us realize that no one is going to lay off for us just because our name is Florida. There was a sense that we were overconfident."
INJURY UPDATE: Senior RB Chris Rainey (ankle) is expected to return to practice today after missing most of last week's practice and the Vanderbilt game. OL Chaz Green (ankle), LB Jelani Jenkins and DE Lerentee McCray (shoulder) were all expected to practice on Monday. Freshman G Tommy Jordan had shoulder surgery on Monday morning and will redshirt this season. Freshman G Trip Thurman also has had shoulder surgery. "Really, on the injury front, we should be healthy going into this ballgame," Muschamp said.
DEMPS HONORED: Senior RB Jeff Demps was named SEC offensive player of the week. Against Vanderbilt, Demps rushed for a career-high 158 yards on 23 carries. It was his third 100-yard-plus rushing effort this season.
AREA RUNNERS HONORED: Freshman Grace VanDeGrift (Durant) and sophomore Mark Parrish (Chamberlain), both cross-country runners, were honored by the SEC after competing in the SEC Championship last week. VanDeGrift was named to the All-SEC freshman team, while Parrish was a first-team All-SEC selection. Parrish ran a career-best 8K in 24:23.69 to finish third in his first SEC meet. VanDeGrift was one of the top seven finishers, running a personal-best 21:51.28 (6K).
Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]