Meyer: Good Practice and Injury Updates

The Florida Gators are gearing up for their much anticipated matchup Saturday against SEC rival Tennessee. There is little doubt that Urban Meyer and company have pointed to this game since the beginning of the offseason. Florida had a great practice Thursday in anticipation of the match up and Meyer talked about injuries.

The Gainesville skies were dark and cloudy about half way through the practice time, but the Florida Gators managed to get a full practice in before the rain let loose. Urban Meyer liked what he saw from his troops on Thursday.

"We had a great day today. We just beat the weather, so we had a great day. We are really ready. We have a saying around here that the preparation stops when the foot hits the ball but we have a good day coming tomorrow. Our players are ready."

Meyer was finally pleased with how the offense handled Tennessee's defense in practice.

"The one thing about Tennessee's defense is it was really sloppy on Tuesday. Not so much of our players but because of the looks. They have a lot of looks," he said. "Wednesday was cleaner, and it was real clean (Thursday)."

Freshman WR Andre Debose had surgery Thursday to repair a torn hamstring tendon in his left thigh. The injury has an expected recovery time of four to six months. Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer said the surgery was successful and it will be Debose's attitude towards his recovery that will make the difference in how he will heal from it.

"I tell guys it's not the injury to the athlete that matters; it's the reaction to the injury," Meyer said. "If you go in the tank, fall behind in school and act like you are miserable and don't take advantage of an opportunity to get bigger and stronger, then that's the reaction. The injury is the injury, but he will be fine."

Debose was expected to play a big role in the offense this year, taking most of the snaps from the slot position previously played by Percy Harvin.

Meyer said he was disappointed not to see the star of his 2009 recruitment class play this season.

"If there ever was a young player that could come in and play, he would be one of them," he said.

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WR Deonte Thompson is listed as probable for Saturday's game with a "tight hamstring". Meyer said they will find out more in the next days, but even if Thompson does play, he will not be able to take the same amount of snaps as the first two games.

DT Lawrence Marsh (ankle) and LB Jelani Jenkins (ankle) are ready to play against Tennessee, but Jenkins will see the field primarily on special teams. It is Marsh though that Meyer needs on the field to bolster the defensive tackle spot. "We've got Omar Hunter and Brandon Antwine and Troy Epps, so we've got some bodies in there, but Marsh is our best nose guard," Meyer said.

CB Jeremy Brown is expected to start practicing again in a couple of weeks after having a procedure done on his back. "He's getting a little better. He's a little further," Meyer said. WR Carl Moore who had the same procedure is behind in recovery and Meyer still does not know when Moore will be back.

Meyer said he is surprised what he hears other saying about wide receivers in the NFL that come from spread offenses and is proud of his receivers in the league. "They are very well trained, and they are all good kids," he said.

Even with all the talent that returned, Meyer said his team is still lacking playmakers compared to last year's squad. "We're still missing some playmakers on offense, and Percy and (Louis) Murphy came up big in (the Tennessee) game last year."

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