Florida quarterback Driskel returns to practice eight days after appendectomy
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel felt just fine following his first practice since an appendectomy.
Driskel said Friday he "didn't have any pain, no issues" while returning eight days after emergency surgery.
"Everything felt good in my stomach," said Driskel, who was medically cleared to return Thursday. "I thought I threw the ball really well and thought we had a good day offensively."
Driskel's improving health was good news for the Gators, who needed something positive after a rash of injuries, some of them season-ending issues.
The Gators lost senior receiver/kick returner Andre Debose and freshman linebacker Matt Rolin for the year with torn knee ligaments. Defensive tackle Damien Jacobs (sprained knee) and safety Jaylen Watkins (sprained foot) will be sidelined at least a week, and freshman offensive lineman Rod Johnson had surgery Friday to repair torn meniscus in his right knee. Johnson will miss at least three weeks.
"It's unfortunate and frustrating for everyone involved," Florida head coach Will Muschamp said. "You can stomach [them] a little better because football's a tough game, football's a violent game. Sometimes those things happen. ... You hate to be hard about it, but that's part of the game, and they understand that when they play."
Driskel missed six days of practice, but was in meetings and on the field, so he doesn't believe he's far behind in preparation for the season.
"I think I'm up to speed," he said. "Second year in the offense means there's not really anything I haven't done yet. I think I've done a good job of staying alert in the meetings and getting the mental reps. I think I'm good to go."
Driskel will have to go through the NCAA-mandated acclimation phase, meaning he will practice two days in shorts and two more days in shells before he can don full pads.
"I'm sure I won't take a hit until the first game, but I'm sure I could right now," Driskel said. "We haven't tested or anything like that. Everything seems fine, and that's not really any issue for me anymore."
Muschamp had no update on running back Matt Jones, who is recovering from a viral infection. Jones had been expected to carry the load for the run-oriented Gators this season, but he hasn't done much while getting treatment for the virus.
"He is running and getting exercise, but he hasn't been cleared to practice yet," Muschamp said.