Of the absences, Jones's is probably the most surprising: He tore his meniscus against LSU in October 2013, and a meniscus tear is one of the more routine knee injuries an athlete can sustain. And though Muschamp clarified Jones's injury as a "radial tear" of his meniscus...
Matt Jones OUT for spring. Had a radial tear of meniscus. First surgery repaired 60% of meniscus they're gonna scope knee in 3 weeks.— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) January 13, 2014
...rumors from the recruiting circuit had Jones's injury sounding a little more serious than even that:
Matt Jones out for spring? People on the UF beat who believe that was just a meniscus surgery: 0— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) January 13, 2014
ESPN's Derek Tyson — who graduated from Armwood High School, just like Jones, and whose sources on Armwood are considered golden — begs to differ.
It 100% was RT @TomahawkNation: Matt Jones out for spring? People on the UF beat who believe that was just a meniscus surgery: 0— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) January 13, 2014
@TomahawkNation Talked to Matt a month ago. Had his meniscus completely repaired not just removed/cleaned up. Recovery is about 6-8 months.— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) January 13, 2014
In any case, Jones being out gives Kelvin Taylor all the opportunity that can be provided to establish himself as Florida's starting running back, a position that eluded him until late in 2013 despite a strong start to his freshman season.
Rolin is recovering from his second ACL tear in less than a year, suffered during fall practice 2013, and will likely be brought along slowly so as to avoid an aggravation or setback in his recovery, like the one suffered by Ronald Powell in the fall of 2012 while aggressively rehabilitating himself from an ACL injury suffered in 2012's spring game.
Anzalone suffered a dislocated shoulder against Georgia Southern that ended his 2013 season, and that came on the back of a shoulder injury that required surgery in March 2013, ending his participation in spring practice.
Special teams ace Jeremi Powell will also be out for spring practice, making three linebackers Florida will not have available this spring. Powell suffered a torn ACL against Missouri in October 2013.
Muschamp also addressed the status of Andre Debose, Octavius Jackson, and Tyler Moore for spring practice, indicating that Debose, who tore his ACL in fall practice in 2013, will be a non-contact participant, that Jackson's status is up in the air thanks to a "chronic" shoulder injury, and that Moore, who fractured his elbow falling off a scooter in November, should be fine, with an X-ray coming in the next few weeks.
One tiny bit of good news on the injury front? Jeff Driskel is on pace to fully participate in spring practice, which begins March 19. And he will need to be, with Muschamp hinting that the depth chart is very much blank right now.