The ramifications of a 1-2 start already are being felt on the University of Florida football team.
Gators coach Steve Spurrier announced two lineup changes on offense Monday night and hinted that others could come later in the week for a team that has gone from a No. 4 preseason ranking to No. 23 in three games.
He also said slumping quarterback Shane Matthews would not be available for media interviews this week. It is the first time in two-plus years as a starter that Matthews has been declared off-limits.
In other news, backup offensive lineman Brian Fisher of New Port Richey injured his neck at the start of a scrimmage and was taken from the field by ambulance. Spurrier said Fisher did not appear to be seriously hurt, but UF trainers called emergency medical personnel as a precaution.
A spokesman at Shands Hospital in Gainesville said Fisher was in stable condition and would be kept overnight for observation.
"He's got all of his feelings in his arms and legs," Spurrier said. "He's just got tenderness around his neck. Our trainers felt we should call the emergency squad. Our doctors and trainers are taking no chances."
Before Fisher's injury, the focus of practice was on Florida's maligned offensive line.
Spurrier said true freshman Jason Odom probably would replace Ryan Taylor at right tackle for Saturday's game against LSU. David Swain may start for Dexter Smith at left guard and redshirt freshman Kevin Johnson is being considered at center for Gannt Crouch, Spurrier said.
Senior receiver Tre Everett has regained his starting position from Harrison Houston.
As far as Matthews, Spurrier said his quarterback simply needs time away from off-field distractions and will resume media interviews next week.
"Shane's just had so many people pulling on him from all directions," Spurrier said. "I think now he just needs to get away and regroup his thoughts and try to remember how he used to play.
"Of course, it's certainly not all his fault. I told him, "Get away by yourself and try to get ready to play. You owe it yourself to be alone for a while.' "
Meanwhile, ABC-TV announced that it will regionally televise the Florida-Auburn game in Gainesville on Oct. 17 at noon.