Florida Gators defensive tackle Elijah Conliffe plays one of the positions where the Gators most need good health in 2019. If his last two Instagram story posts are to be believed, he won’t have that good health this season.
Conliffe posted a picture of an half-wrapped foot with the caption “Lord why” late Tuesday night, then followed that up with a picture captioned in part “My season ova” early Wednesday morning (with, amusingly, a countdown to the Wednesday release of a demo for NBA 2K20).
And all indications are that he’s revealing a season-ending foot injury by doing so. Conliffe was reportedly in a red non-contact jersey on Monday, so it seems that the injury may be one sustained days ago, or even last week, but an early-morning post would suggest an early-morning evaluation by Florida doctors or athletic trainers.
And if Conliffe is sidelined for any stretch of time with the injury, it’s a big blow to a fairly thin rotation at defensive tackle. The junior was listed as a backup on Florida’s depth chart for its Saturday showdown with Miami, and the six players listed at starter or backup at nose or defensive tackle for the Gators — starters Kyree Campbell and Adam Shuler, and backups Conliffe, Luke Ancrum, Marlon Dunlap, Tedarrell Slaton — are essentially the entirety of Florida’s experience at the position, with unlisted freshman Jaelin Humphries the only other tackle by trade.
And unlike in years past, Florida does not seem to have many ends who could slide inside and be situationally effective at defensive tackle. Zachary Carter (listed as a backup end) and Jonathan Greenard (a shared starter at Buck) both carry the same listed weight of 263 pounds as Ancrum, but Ancrum has always been light for the tackle position, and neither Carter nor Greenard would seem an ideal fit as a run-stuffer.