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Monday, Mar 27, 2017

Gators’ Morrison out for season with knee injury

GAINESVILLE — Florida coach Will Muschamp announced Monday that the Gators have lost another starter for the season to a knee injury.

Linebacker Antonio Morrison, the team’s leading tackler, tore a meniscus in the 34-17 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday and will not play the rest of the year.

His injury is the same that knocked running back Matt Jones out for the year. Muschamp conceded yet another injured player could take an emotional toll but vowed to keep the Gators focused on Saturday’s game at South Carolina.

Morrison played much of the Vanderbilt game with the injury instead of leaving the field. His 49 tackles are the team’s best with Mike Taylor — who will take his position — second with 45.

Muschamp also said quarterback Tyler Murphy has a sore shoulder and will miss some practice. Skyler Mornhinweg, who hasn’t thrown a college pass, would play if Murphy isn’t able to start on Saturday. Murphy is the second QB to battle injuries, with starter Jeff Driskel out for the year with the broken leg.

Asked about UF (4-4 overall, 3-5 in the SEC) being two wins short of getting to a bowl, Muschamp said his focus is on South Carolina.

Muschamp also acknowledged the injuries — and subsequent losses — could be starting to wear on the Gators.

“I definitely think it’s had its effect,” Muschamp said. “We’ll get through it.’’

Added Murphy: “We feel like we definitely can go into South Carolina and win but it’s not going to be easy. ... We’ll probably have to play our best game of the year.’’