GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Gators plan to have starting running back Matt Jones and middle linebacker Antonio Morrison back in the lineup when they visit Miami next week.
Jones, hit with a viral infection in July, is nearing full strength, according to Florida coach Will Muschamp. Jones has been ruled out for Saturday's opener against Toledo, but should be cleared soon.
As a freshman last season, Jones ran for 275 yards and three touchdowns on 52 carries.
Morrison, a sophomore, would have been an opening-day starter if not for two offseason arrests. He allegedly punched a nightclub bouncer July 16 when the man declined to give him discounted admission. He agreed to deferred prosecution.
He was arrested again five days later for barking at a police dog and resisting arrest, which prompted Muschamp to announce a two-game suspension. The charges in that incident were dropped shortly afterward.
"After a thorough review of Antonio Morrison's situation and how he has handled his punishment, I'm going to suspend him for this game only," Muschamp said Monday, referring to the season opener. "I just don't feel like his actions warranted a two-game suspension.
"That's where we are with that."
Morrison played every game for Florida last year and started three times. He was eighth on the team with 34 tackles.
Muschamp also announced that offensive tackle Chaz Green will need season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum he suffered last week. Green, a redshirt junior, was expected to start at right tackle against Toledo.
The Gators already are going into the season without starting right guard Jon Halapio, who has not practiced since tearing his left pectoral muscle while weightlifting in July. Halapio has been ruled out for the first two games, and the team hopes to get him back Sept. 21 against Tennessee.
Without those two, Florida will start redshirt senior Kyle Koehne at right guard and Nebraska transfer Tyler Moore at right tackle.