Just minutes after some breathless reporting on Dominique Easley's injury status, Will Muschamp fielded a question on the weekly SEC teleconference on Easley's status. He confirmed an injury — but seems to have downplayed it.
Will Muschamp on Easley injury: "tweaked his knee a little bit yesterday. We will see how it goes"— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) September 25, 2013
Muschamp confirms Easley's knee is TWEAKED. not torn ACL.— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) September 25, 2013
#Gators coach Will Muschamp said Dominique Easley tweaked his knee Tuesday anod unclear if he will practice today.— Sentinel Gators beat (@osgators) September 25, 2013
And the injury is to Easley's right knee, not the left one in which he previously tore an ACL:
Muschamp says Easley tweaked his right knee; Easley previously tore ACL in his left knee... #Gators— Scott Carter (@GatorZoneScott) September 25, 2013
However, as Gator Country's Richard Johnson, himself a veteran of a torn ACL, point out, this doesn't mean Easley's totally out of the woods:
FWIW there is usually swelling around the knee that doctors need to wait on before they diagnose a torn ACL. (I tore mine 2 summers ago)— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) September 25, 2013
And Florida's coaches have used "tweaked" when referring to a torn ACL already this year:
Pease on Debose's injury in Aug: "Yeah, he tweaked his knee a little bit, so they're evaluating it at this time and we'll go from there."— Chuck Kingsbury (@ChuckKingsbury) September 25, 2013
Easley tore the ACL in his left knee in a 2011 game against Florida State, and missed Florida's Gator Bowl victory over Ohio State as a result. He was also diminished for much of the 2012 season as a result, and has spoken about his confidence returning this year, in which he has been far more effective.
Easley suffering even a minor injury would make it likely, in my mind, that he will not play against Kentucky on Saturday, as the Gators are likely to err on the side of caution with one of their best players. If Easley does not play, Darious Cummings is listed as his backup, and Leon Orr will likely get more time at Easley's defensive tackle position.