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Florida’s Luke Del Rio out for South Carolina with shoulder injury

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Florida’s QB1 is on the shelf again.

NCAA Football: Florida at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio will miss the Gators’ game against South Carolina on Saturday with a shoulder injury, Jim McElwain announced Monday.

McElwain disclosed the shoulder injury — a new one for Del Rio, who missed two games earlier this season while recovering from a knee injury — during his Monday press conference, while also admitting that Del Rio should have been benched last Saturday against Arkansas.

Del Rio, a redshirt sophomore, stayed in the game against the Razorbacks, and finished it with 19 completions on 37 attempts, 229 passing yards, and two interceptions, both thrown before halftime. He appeared to have trouble consistently putting touch on his throws against the Hogs, but it is unclear whether that had anything to do with a shoulder injury.

With Del Rio out, Florida will likely turn to redshirt senior Austin Appleby as its starting quarterback. But while McElwain said Appleby will take starter’s reps this week in practice, he also said that freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask will be involved in Florida’s game plan, and later suggested there will be an open competition for the starter’s role against South Carolina.

Appleby went 1-1 as Florida’s starter, playing well in a first half prior to an offensive brownout at Tennessee, then struggling to find consistency and big plays against Vanderbilt in a tight win.