Florida head coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday that defensive tackle Dominique Easley will miss the remainder of the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament and medial meniscus in his right knee during a non-contact drill in practice on Tuesday.
Easley, one of the team's best players, hinted at the bad news via Twitter earlier Wednesday, but Muschamp initially said that he had “tweaked” his knee and added “we think he'll be fine.” However, the school clarified Easley's status with a statement from Muschamp later in the day.
Losing Easley is a huge blow for a defense that leads the SEC in almost every major category. The defender had four quarterback hurries and two tackles for loss this year.
Of course, starting quarterback Jeff Driskel was lost for the season last Saturday when he broke his fibula in the win over Tennessee. Tyler Murphy will now run the offense for the first time in his Gators career after being buried on the depth chart the last three years.
With the loss of Driskel, the Gators were going to have to rely even more on their defense and special teams with Murphy's inexperience against a brutal upcoming schedule. But the loss of Easley will now put even more pressure on the team's defensive unit.
Dave Miller, the college football editor and writer for the National Football Post, is on Twitter @Miller_Dave.