For Gator fans who hadn’t lost hope after the team’s loss to the Miami Hurricanes, or even after Jeff Driskel’s season-ending knee injury against Tennessee, they were dealt another debilitating blow on Wednesday.
Defensive tackle Dominique Easley is out for the season with a torn ACL and medial meniscus.
Easley’s injury saga began early Wednesday when Muschamp told the media during a conference call that Easley tweaked his knee on Tuesday and would probably miss practice on Wednesday. He thought Easley would be fine but needed to know more information, according to Edward Aschoff of ESPN.
Then, the Gainesville Sun reported that Easley had torn his ACL.
Soon after, Adam Silverstein of OnlyGators.com reported that Easley had sent out a protective tweet. It read a bit ominously:
“Gatornation thank you for all of 4 yrs of sticking with me but god has something else planned for and have no worries #believe”
It wasn’t until almost 7 p.m. that the Orlando Sentinel reported that the school had announced Easley’s season-ending injury. The Sentinel passed along this quote from Easley’s father on how he was doing:
“Not good,” David Easley said. “He didn’t talk much. I’m sure we’ll be talking later once he can actually take it in.”
Finally, Scott Carter of Gatorzone.com provided a statement from Will Muschamp:
“As I said earlier today on the SEC Conference Call, Dominique injured his right knee in practice in a non-contact situation. Test results have revealed that he suffered a tear of both his ACL and medial meniscus, which will require season-ending surgery.
“I talked to Dominique and the team this afternoon, and we will continue to look for his leadership and experience throughout the season. Watching any of your players go through this is one of the hardest things about being a coach.
“Obviously, it is hardest on Dominique. We are disappointed for him, but we will be there for him every step of the way through his surgery and rehab process.”
Players qualify for a medical redshirt if they don’t play in more than four games and can prove a legitimate injury. However, it seems likely the senior may enter the 2014 NFL Draft anyway as he was projected to be a first-round pick by several reputable sites.
Do you think Easley will come back or go to the Draft?