It doesn't matter that Florida defeated Kentucky 41-7 because our quarterback was motionless on the ground for about three minutes. The hit on Tim Tebow was clean (the UK player did not lead with the crown of the helmet), and it was the impact of the back of Tebow's head on Marcus Gilbert's knee (who was doing nothing wrong), that caused all of us to wonder if God would kill Tebow in game four of his senior season. While Tebow was helped to his feet, and was aware enough to throw up in a garbage bag, you cannot function like a human for a few days after type of blow.
The football side wonders if Tebow will be back for LSU. The realistic side hopes that someone is smart enough to put Tebow through tests and machines to make sure he isn't seriously injured. Remember, last week Tebow used his head to smash Eric Berry. Those hits build up and one punch can be lights out. It makes me sick to think about this, but this is the business we have chosen and we have to worry about this stuff.
Whatever illness is floating around the Gators seemed to impact different guys in different ways. Florida's defense (with The Major, Haden and Spikes impacted by illness or injury) actually looked better than against Tennessee, while Riley Cooper was a step slower. Add that to Urban Meyer looking like he was freezing on a night it was in the high 60s in Lexington. Meyer looked sick before Tebow was knocked out. Offensively, UF was able to keep the ball on the ground (363 yards), but relied far too much on Tebow (16 attempts for 123 yards and 2 TDs). Even if Tebow wasn't hurt, UF has to trust other guys to get hard yards. I know Tebow had most of his yards on option reads, but you'd think at this point UF would know that you have to pull the reins on him sometimes. If Tebow is able to return this season, they will definitely have to do that. UF still has no passing game, which is kind of a big deal.
Praise Jesus, because there is a bye week before LSU. But it is entirely possible Tebow is unavailable for that game and a few more after that. He is still alive and he is still our quarterback, but the second part is now in doubt.
[UPDATE 10:12] Postgame presser with UAA spokesman Steve Babik and Urban Meyer reveals nothing about Tebow's health. Goddamnit UAA, enough of the Baghdad Bob routines and get us some information.
[UPDATE 10:19] Mike Pouncey said Tebow's eyes rolled back in his head. This actually makes me feel better, because at least I can look at this like a boxer getting hit with a perfect punch.
[UPDATE 10:35] If you assume Tebow lost consciousness and that his vomiting was due to the hit, you can assume Tebow has a Grade III concussion. That means he could be out for at least the LSU game, if not longer. Here are some guidelines for a return from a Grade III concussion;
Orthopedics.About.com : The athlete is removed from competition and transported to the emergency department. Length of time out of competition can be discussed with the physician. All patients who sustain a concussion must not return to play until cleared by someone trained in management of these injuries (e.g. the team physician). Foremost, any athlete should not return to play until all symptoms have resolved. Even a mild headache should exclude a player from returning to competition.
Neurosurgery Today : Grade III concussions involve posttraumatic amnesia for more than 24 hours or unconsciousness for more than five minutes. Players who sustain this grade of brain injury should be sidelined for at least one month, after which they can return to play if they are asymptomatic for one week.
It may be a long time before we see Tim Tebow back on the field. You better get used to the idea of Johnny Brantley facing LSU, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Georgia.
[UPDATE 11:15] From Urban, via Mark Schlabach's gamer;
"We're going to find out more about Tim. We believe it is a concussion. He got hit pretty good, but that's one tough cat. Our team will pray for him and he'll be fine," coach Urban Meyer said during his postgame press conference. Tebow will be held at the hospital overnight for observation.
We won't add anything else unless we get actual specifics on Tebow's status. In the meantime, if you're insane and pray to Saints for various things (like me), here is St. Sebastian's prayer for athletes, prayer of St. Augustine (namesake of UF's Catholic Student Church), and prayer to St. Anthony (which is a good catch-all prayer). Try to sleep tonight, even if your stomach is in knots.