For the second straight day, Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow participated in practice. Although he increased his participation level from Tuesday, he still has not been cleared to play at LSU. That decision is unlikely to come before the weekend, so the medical staff can see whether he is still suffering any lingering symptoms from the concussion he suffered at Kentucky.
“It’s day to day. Everyday he gets cleared to practice,” Florida coach Urban Meyer said. “He had a good day yesterday and a really good day today, but after practice they check symptoms and those types of things, so I will find out more in a little bit.”
The training staff gave Meyer positive feedback about the tests they did on Tebow after Tuesday’s practice.
“They didn’t go in depth with me; they just said everything was good,” Meyer said.
Meyer said Tuesday that Tebow would not be hit, but he would get tested by getting hit in the chest. He did not undergo those tests, but he did a get a little more physical Wednesday.
“We let him go against the defense at the end and got pushed around a little bit, but no,” Meyer said.
He is still unsure if he will play Tebow even if he is cleared by the training staff, but it isn’t because Tebow is more likely to suffer another concussion.
“When you’re healed, you’re healed so whether it’s the next week or the week after, and if you’re not healed, you’re not healed,” Meyer said.
Even if Tebow is unable to take any significant hit to test how he handles it, Meyer would be against holding him out.
“Dallas Baker played before when he went out there on a Friday. I hear these coaches have these rules, we don’t have that rule,” he said.
In the case Tebow is unable to play, backup John Brantley is still preparing as if he would be the starter. Sharing reps with Tebow in practice could be problematic for having the young quarterback ready to play. Meyer was just happy that Brantley was able to get plenty of reps last week with the first team.
“If there is a plus, it is that we had three practices last week where John took every snap, and a lot of the game plan we have adapted, adjusted a lot of stuff,” Meyer said.
Meyer went on to sympathize with the sophomore. Brantley has been waiting patiently to have his turn as the starter and has to wait even longer because of Tebow returning for his last year. And now he has to wait out whether Tebow or he takes the field in Baton Rouge.
“I think it’s hard. Here is a guy who sat and watched Tim say, ‘OK, I’m coming back for my senior year,’ and his shoulders drop a little bit, but Johnny is unique,” Meyer said. “He is extremely unselfish.”
Meyer is not worried that people have forgotten that the rest of his team can play because of all the attention Tebow is getting.
But the attention has been a concern of Meyer’s for some time now.
“I’m very concerned about it, and it’s just because of this. I have been worried about it for two or three years now.”
- The offensive line took a major hit to its depth as Matt Patchan will miss the rest of the year with an injury to his right knee. “He had an ACL injury yesterday, non-contact ACL. He’s out for the year.”
Meyer said he will push for Patchan to get a medical redshirt, so he would still have three years of eligibility left.
- The special teams unit also suffered a blow, losing Moses Jenkins (concussion) for the LSU game. “Moses Jenkins is not going to play. Moses Jenkins didn’t practice, and I am in charge of the kicking units, and we’ve got a problem because he is a heck of a player.”
- Meyer said he does not know if Brandon Spikes is 100 percent but is told he is good to play.
- DT Lawrence Marsh made another stride to returning from a sprained ankle, participating a little more in practice than he did Tuesday.
- Meyer praised his receiving corps for their Wednesday practice. “Receivers had their best day today.”