Gators top tackler Antonio Morrison out rest of season

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Gators have already lost their starting quarterback, their top defensive lineman and their most experienced running back to season-ending injuries.

Add their top tackler to the list.

Florida coach Will Muschamp announced Monday that sophomore starting middle linebacker Antonio Morrison, who leads the Gators with 56 tackles, will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury.

Morrison suffered the injury early in Saturday’s game but was able to continue playing, recording a team-high 10 tackles in Florida’s 34-17 loss to Vanderbilt. Morrison is the 10th UF player to be lost for the season due to injury.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel, defensive tackle Dominique Easley, running back Matt Jones, linebacker Matt Rolin, receiver Andre Debose, offensive linemen Chaz Green and Tyler Moore, defensive back Nick Washington and linebacker Jeremi Powell went down earlier in the season.

Meanwhile starting offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (knee) and reserve tight end Colin Thompson (foot) have missed significant time to injury and are out indefinitely.

Overall, Florida has lost seven starters to season-ending injuries and only five UF players have started every game in one of the most injury-plagued seasons in the program’s recent history.

The Gators, 4-5 and in need of two wins in their final three games to become bowl eligible, travel to face No. 12-ranked South Carolina on Saturday.

As if the loss of Morrison wasn’t enough, Muschamp said quarterback Tyler Murphy (shoulder) won’t practice Monday or Tuesday. He is battling a sore shoulder. Murphy suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder in a loss at LSU last month and has not been the same since.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Skyler Mornhinweg is Murphy’s backup and will take snaps with first team at practice.