tampabay.com

Knee injury puts Wynn in doubt

By ANTONYA ENGLISH
Published October 2, 2006


GAINESVILLE - Florida may have to take on No. 9 LSU without its top rusher and with one of its best receivers/rushers in a limited capacity.

Senior tailback DeShawn Wynn sustained an injury to his right knee in Saturday's win over Alabama and is questionable for this week. He had an MRI exam Sunday, and Florida coach Urban Meyer said he expects to know more about Wynn's status today.

Meyer said it's believed Wynn has a sprain, not a tear. Wynn, who was coming off consecutive 100-yard games, rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries before he was injured early in the third quarter.

Freshman receiver Percy Harvin is still recovering from a high ankle sprain he sustained Sept. 16 against Tennessee. Harvin was in for one play against Kentucky but did not play Saturday night. Meyer said early last week he thought Harvin would be 100 percent for the Alabama game, but said Sunday morning Harvin wasn't ready to play. Defensive tackle Clint McMillan also has a high ankle sprain, but is expected to play Saturday.

With Wynn out, the Gators need someone else to step up. Before Harvin was injured, the coaching staff had installed several plays for him at tailback. Kestahn Moore had five carries Saturday for 20 yards and has 160 yards on 30 carries for the season. But redshirt sophomore Markus Manson, who showed promise last season, has just two carries for 3 yards this year.

"Markus has made a little push," Meyer said. "In the last week he had a couple of plays. The problem is evaluations of tailbacks usually happens in the spring. We've got to prepare for some excellent football teams; it's not a tryout camp anymore. ... I think it's now time that, when you have a guy dinged up, and once again I don't know the extent of it, someone (else) has to play. Your educated guess would be Markus Manson would take that step. He has to do it (today) and Wednesday (in practice)."

NO CHANGE: Despite missing his third field goal of the season, Meyer said kicker Chris Hetland isn't in jeopardy of losing his job.

"I still have confidence in our kicker," Meyer said. "He's our kicker and we'll continue to evaluate."

FACE TIME: Junior safety Reggie Nelson was all over the highlight shows Saturday night after his 70-yard interception return for a touchdown to seal Florida's win. He was nominated for the game-changing performance on ESPN, making Florida eligible for $5,000 to its general scholarship fund.

"I was just reading the quarterback and broke on the ball," he said. "I had dropped two so I had to come out and help the defense out the best way I can.

OF NOTE: Chris Leak's 45-yard run late in the second quarter was the longest by a Florida quarterback since Terry LeCount's 76-yarder vs. Georgia in 1977. ... Florida's 100 yards in interception returns was the most since 1995.