GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — No. 8 Florida has its top two receivers back at practice and ready to play this season.
Coach Dan Mullen confirmed Tuesday that Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney have returned after missing the first few days of fall camp. Jacob Copeland also rejoined the Gators after skipping the start of camp.
“It’s good to have those guys out there, all our guys,” Mullen said during a Zoom call with reporters. “I support all the decisions the guys make, obviously. They’ve got a lot going on, lot of little different personal deals, and we’re here to support them and help them as best we can. Good to have some of those guys out to create some depth.”
It’s still unclear why Grimes, Toney and Copeland sat out the first few practices. Toney and Copeland expressed concerns earlier this month about playing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Another teammate, defensive end Zach Carter, made it clear the public health crisis prompted his absence. Carter’s father was hospitalized with COVID-19 over the summer and a longtime friend of his mother died after contracting the virus. Carter returned to practice last week and dedicated the season to COVID-19 “fighters and victims.”
Florida is scheduled to open Sept. 26 at Mississippi, which is entering its first season under coach Lane Kiffin.
The Gators had 21 football players test positive for COVID-19 since returning to campus in late May. They’ve had no positive tests or anyone quarantined because of exposure in August. They have administered 197 tests during the month.
The university’s athletic department, in all, has administered 809 tests since late May and found 35 positive cases. It had one positive among 479 tests in August.
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