With both teams starting off 2-0 and SEC Nation coming to Lexington, nethis xt weekend’s game between the Florida Gators and Kentucky Wildcats is set to be a huge matchup.
Last season, Kentucky broke a 31-year losing streak to the Gators, and with Florida ranked #11 in the current AP Poll, the Wildcats wouldn't mind breaking their hearts for a second straight year.
Florida has talent at multiple positions, but they’ll be without two key players next Saturday. In Saturday’s win against UT-Martin, wide receiver Kadarius Toney and cornerback CJ Henderson both suffered injuries that will likely sideline them for several weeks, which means they won’t play vs. Kentucky.
Toney injured his left forearm around the end of the first quarter, while Henderson sprained his left ankle and was helped off the field. He returned to the sidelines with crutches and a walking boot.
On Monday, Florida head coach Dan Mullen revealed that Toney will miss this week, while Henderson also looks doubtful to play.
“So Kadarius Toney is going to be out for a couple weeks, so we’ll see how he heals,” Mullen said. “We expect him to be out for a couple weeks.
”CJ Henderson, I think will be doubtful this week, but he’s got a minor ankle sprain. Just as a skilled athlete, sometimes that’s a little trickier, but hopefully he’ll be back pretty quick. Talking to him, he wants to play this week but we’re going to see how it goes. We’re not going to put him out there unless he’s 100 percent healthy.”
Kentucky has its own injury to worry about with QB Terry Wilson being lost for the season due to a torn patella tendon. It’s going to be a big transition this week from Wilson to Sawyer Smith, so at least he may have the benefit of not facing Henderson, one of the top corners in college football and a projected first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With that said, it certainly doesn’t hurt the Wildcats chances to have at least some of Florida’s weapons on the sidelines. It means there’s one less weapon for an at time inconsistent Feleipe Franks to use and one less talented defender for Smith to worry about if he were to have to make his starting debut.
Injuries are the worst part about sports, but I don’t think there will take anything away from this weekend’s matchup. Kroger Field will be packed for a game that will have big implications, and plenty of bragging right for both teams, on the line.