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Gators expect injured DE Cunningham to play

GAINESVILLE — Florida junior DE Jermaine Cunningham was on crutches at practice Tuesday, nursing a knee injury he suffered in the Tennessee game.

"I'll know more (today),'' coach Urban Meyer said Tuesday evening. "Right now they are telling me he's probable. He has a hyper-extended knee. We MRI-ed it, there's not cartilage damage, no ligament damage. It happened early in the game when he tried to tackle one of those backs in the open field and he played the rest of the game. I think he's going to play (Saturday against Ole Miss)."

LB Ryan Stamper remains probable with an ankle injury.

JENKINS MOVING UP: Meyer said he remains undecided whether freshman CB Janoris Jenkins will start this week, but Jenkins is making progress.

"Right now, he's running with the (starters)," Meyer said. "Every scrimmage, he makes plays on the ball. There's still times he's immature, but he's a very talented guy. He could play receiver, too. He's very good with the ball in his hands."

FSU: WR to play?

TALLAHASSEE — Florida State's offense, which foundered in a loss Saturday to Wake Forest, could benefit from an unexpected boost Saturday against Colorado.

Senior WR Richard Goodman, who was hampered by a knee injury in preseason practice and considered applying for a medical hardship this fall, said he plans to play against the Buffaloes.

Goodman said he made the decision after speaking with receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey.

"He told me if I can go, go," Goodman said. "We're just going based upon how I feel. And right now, I feel I can go Saturday."

Goodman was sidelined late last season after breaking an ankle against Duke; he had caught 11 passes for 73 yards in that game before the injury.

Goodman's greatest contribution could come in the form of veteran guidance. Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher has said that Goodman is one of the best leaders at any position.

notable: Offensive line coach Rick Trickett said that junior college transfer Joe Tonga could see more playing time Saturday. Tonga originally was penciled in as a starting tackle, but has played sparingly.

USF: A nice visit

TAMPA — USF coach Jim Leavitt said he liked the energy at Tuesday's practice, which had a welcome visitor.

Senior LB Brouce Mompremier, who suffered a neck injury during Saturday's game against FIU, attended practice.

He walked around in a T-shirt and shorts and without a neck brace. The team gathered around him after chanting his name and he led a chant after stretching drills.

"It means a lot (to the team) just to see him up and walking around," defensive coordinator Wally Burnham said. "I'm sure it will make the other guys run harder and practice harder."

NOTABLE: Junior Colby Erskin, coming back from torn knee ligaments, worked as a punt returner behind senior Marcus Edwards. … Senior CB Tyller Roberts and junior DT Aaron Harris returned to practice. Leavitt said DE George Selvie, S Carlton Williams and DT Terrell McClain did not practice for the second day in a row.

UCF: Flexible on QBs

ORLANDO — Coach George O'Leary said backup QB Joe Weatherford, who didn't play against Boston College last week, could see action along with starter Michael Greco and Joe Calabrese against UTEP on Saturday. O'Leary said Calabrese played instead of Weatherford because his mobility was needed against BC, but O'Leary plans to play all three throughout the season.

Times correspondents Ira Schoffel and Joe Rienzi contributed to this report, which used information from the Orlando Sentinel.

>>Up next

Florida vs. Ole Miss:

12:30 Saturday, Ch. 38

USF at N.C. State:

7:30 Saturday, ESPNU

FSU vs. Colorado in Jacksonville: 3:30 Saturday, Ch. 28

Miami vs. UNC: noon

Saturday, ESPN2

Gators expect injured DE Cunningham to play 09/23/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:28pm]
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