Florida Gators safety Marcus Maye is out for the season with a broken arm.
For the second straight week, Jim McElwain’s Gators were bitten badly by the injury bug.
The Florida head coach announced that safety Marcus Maye broke his arm in Saturday’s 20-7 win over South Carolina and will now miss the rest of the 2016 season.
“Marcus will be done, obviously,” McElwain said. “I just feel horrible, but he’s done so much. His draft stock looking down the road has risen drastically because of how he played so this won’t have any bearing on it. He has a broken something in his arm.”
In a 31-10 loss to Arkansas last weekend, the Gators lost redshirt junior linebacker Alex Anzalone for the rest of the season with a broken arm. Senior linebacker Jarrad Davis is also hobbled by an ankle sprain, and the Gators had to turn to true freshmen Kylan Johnson and David Reese in their victory over Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks.
Florida does have redshirt junior safeties Marcell Harris and Nick Washington to turn to, but it will probably be forced to give more reps to true freshman Jeawon Taylor.
Another true freshman, Chauncey Gardner, could see time at safety as well. It’s never a great time to have a starter suffer an injury — let alone one that ends his season — but the loss of Maye is huge.
He’s a potential first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft with his ability to play within the box, wrap up and deliver big hits in the secondary.
With trips to Baton Rouge and Tallahassee lined up in the next two weeks, Florida needs to win out to find its way back to Atlanta for the second straight year to compete in the SEC title game.
It’ll have to do that without two of its biggest playmakers, though. That defensive unit, which has been one of the nation’s best, is now being held together with glue.