Gators trudge ahead without Ingram

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Urban Meyer has confirmed Cornelius Ingram would undergo season-ending knee surgery next week.

It was clear to me in talking to a few of the players and coaches Thursday night after practice that while the Gators will certainly miss Ingram's ability to make plays, they will miss his leadership just as much.

"He's such a great leader, such a great kid," Meyer said. "He's one of my favorite players of all time. He's a popular guy, and [the players] took it real hard."

The hurt for his teammate was obvious in quarterback Tim Tebow's face as he talked about it Thursday night. Several of the players went over to Ingram's house Wednesday night when they found out that he was done for the season.

"It's a letdown for everybody," Tebow said.

Not having a big, athletic target like Ingram on the field would be a bummer for any quarterback. But where Tebow will probably miss the 6-foot-4, 245-pound Ingram the most this season will be on third down. Ingram was also money near the goal line because he was such a difficult matchup for defenses.

Meyer conceded that losing Ingram "puts a dent" into the Gators' plans to use two tight ends some this season.