Vernon Hargreaves has bone bruise
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Vernon Hargreaves, Florida's All-SEC cornerback, injured his left knee at the Gators' first public practice Thursday night and then aggravated it during a large scuffle that broke out.
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The specter of last season's plague of injuries still looms over the Florida football program. That much was obvious after the team's best player, sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, was hurt during Thursday night's practice, writes Jeff Barlis. Story
According to head coach Will Muschamp, Hargreaves was initially hurt when he "banged knee to knee" with a teammate. Later in practice, the 2013 third-team All-American was caught in a tussle between defensive back and wide receiver position groups that erupted during an intense round of "Oklahoma" drills.
When the players were separated, Hargreaves limped off the field and was assisted by trainers to the medical tent, where his knee was wrapped in ice. He was carted off the field a short time later.
Florida released a statement from coach Will Muschamp saying Hargreaves is day-to-day with a bone bruise.
Update from @CoachWMuschamp: "An MRI revealed that Vernon Hargreaves suffered a bone bruise and he is listed as day to day."- GatorZone Football (@GatorZoneFB) August 8, 2014
Muschamp commented further on the incident Friday.
"Well, I don't want them fighting on the field," he said. "If you fight in the game, you get kicked out. I addressed it after practice. You had a young player, a freshman, who got a little excited. In those situations, you've got a bunch of guys trying to separate the situation. That's not something we tolerate."
Muschamp added: "We have a lot of competition at a lot of positions, so there's a side of it that's a good thing. You want your guys to be aggressive. You want your guys to play with toughness, but you also want your guys to play smart and disciplined. There's a side of it that you understand is part of the game. I've been in 20 or so training camps, and I don't think there's been one that didn't have at least a little skirmish."
Hargreaves' injury scare cast a pall over the rest of the practice, reminding everyone in attendance of the Gators' rash of injuries in 2013. Fifteen Florida players, including 10 starters, suffered season-ending injuries last season, as the Gators struggled to a 4-8 record.
"You don't ever want [injuries] to happen but it's football, things happen, you move forward," Muschamp said. "We're going to practice a certain way and do what's best to prepare this football team for the season."
Hargreaves, who started 10 games as a true freshman and was named a freshman All-American by the Sporting News, was second in the SEC in passes defended (1.17 per game). He had 11 pass breakups, which tied Janoris Jenkins' 2008 mark for the most by a freshman in Florida history.