The Missouri Tigers will be without starting quarterback James Franklin when they host Florida in Week 8 of the 2013 season. However, the Gators got some bad news on the injury front heading into the SEC East showdown themselves.
Starting sophomore running back Matt Jones will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a meniscus tear in his left knee, according to GatorZone. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Jones will undergo surgery on Monday to repair the torn ligament.
Jones missed the season-opener against Toledo with a viral infection, but played well after his return. He piled up 176 yards against Kentucky – the most for a Gators running back since Ciatrick Faison in 2004.
During Saturday’s 17-6 loss to LSU, Jones started the game well enough. He carried the ball four times for 17 yards on a 14-play, 60-yard scoring drive. However, a three-yard run later in the first quarter would be his last for the day.
“When we (saw) him go down, it hurt the whole team,’’ said running back Mack Brown afterward. “We just knew we had to pick it up a little bit more at the running back position.”
Unfortunately, however, the Gators only scored three more points the entire game. Jones is the team’s leader with a 67.8 yards-per-game average.
In his absence, coach Will Muschamp will lean upon Brown and true freshman Kelvin Taylor. The son of former Florida and Jacksonville Jaguars great Fred, Taylor made the most of his time against the Tigers. On just 10 carries, he amassed 52 yards. Brown tallied 56 yards on 15 carries.
Jones is just the latest in an increasingly long line of Gators stars forced out for the entire 2013 season. Both quarterback Jeff Driskel and defensive lineman Dominique Easley are lost for the year after suffering a broken fibula and torn ACL, respectively.
Florida has also lost offensive lineman Chaz Green (shoulder), receiver/return specialist Andre Debose (knee), linebacker Matt Rolin (knee), and defensive back Nick Washington (shoulder).
In 17 career games, Jones has 614 yards on 132 rushes with five touchdowns.