According to multiple reports, Florida wide receiver C.J. Worton has been ruled of Saturday’s season opener against Massachusetts with a high-ankle sprain.
Florida WR C.J. Worton (ankle) will not play in Saturday's opener against UMass.
— SEC Country (@SEC_Country_) August 31, 2016
Worton has been battling the injury for a while and tried to pay through it in practice. However, Gators’ head coach Jim McElwain confirmed after practice Wednesday that it is was better to err on the side of caution.
Zach Abolverdi of SECCountry.com reported on the injury Tuesday:
“Worton will not go,” McElwain said. “He won’t dress. He tried a little bit and couldn’t get through it.”
The Gators now have six scholarship wide receivers available against UMass. Tyrie Cleveland, Chris Thompson and Rick Wells are suspended for the game.
Worton, a 6’0”, 196-pound junior wide receiver from Homestead, Florida is coming off a sophomore season in which he recorded six receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns. McElwain was hoping Worton would be able to contribute given the attrition facing the receiving corps.
A knee injury to Kalif Jackson and the suspensions of Cleveland, Thompson, and Wells has already set back the receiving corps. Hence, this is not an ideal time for Worton to go down.
That said, the Gators should have more than enough weapons to take care of Massachusetts.
Florida is coming off a 2015 season in which it had a resurgence under McElwain. The Gators finished 10-4 overall and 7-1 in the SEC, while winning the SEC East title. The Gators’ season ended with a loss to Michigan in the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
The next chance Worton will have the opportunity to play will be next Saturday when the Gators host Kentucky.