Gainesville, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Florida will miss starting running back Matt Jones and right guard Jon Halapio when the Gators take on Toledo in their season opener Aug. 31.
Florida coach Will Muschamp said Jones, who has missed the entire camp as he recovers from a viral infection, will undergo more blood work Friday. He is questionable for the Sept. 7 game against Miami.
Muschamp added that Halapio will miss at least the first two games with a torn pectoral but could return for the 10th-ranked Gators’ Sept. 21 game against Tennessee.
The 6-2, 226-pound Jones won the starting job during spring practice but was diagnosed with a viral infection just before preseason practices began.
Jones, who rushed for 275 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman backup to Mike Gillislee last season, has been working out for several weeks but has yet to be cleared to practice.
“He’s doing very well,” Muschamp said of Jones. “He’s really progressing well as far as they’re putting more on him each day as physical activity and lifting and different things. I’ve been very pleased with how he’s progressed.”
Halapio suffered his injury lifting weights just before preseason practices began and has yet to fully participate in practice. The 6-3, 317-pound redshirt senior has started 27 consecutive games at right guard.
Muschamp said Halapio will miss the Toledo and Miami games but could return for the Tennessee game.
“I think that his pec is filling in and we feel really comfortable where he is, but certainly being his senior year we don’t want to push it with him,” Muschamp said. “But I would safely project for Tennessee. Possibly before that, but I would certainly say Tennessee.”
Redshirt sophomore Tyler Moore, who started four games and played in nine as a freshman at Nebraska in 2011, will start at right guard. Moore has been working at that spot throughout camp.
Meanwhile, Muschamp said defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (knee), fullback Hunter Joyer (hamstring) and defensive back Vernon Hargreaves III (shoulder) are expected back Monday.