A bye week could not have come at a better time for coach Will Muschamp's Florida Gators.
By the time Tennessee visits the Swamp on Sept. 21 for the teams' SEC opener, several starters, including Gators quarterback Jeff Driskel, should be back to full speed.
During the SEC coaches teleconference on Wednesday, Muschamp said Driskel should be recovered from a sprained knee suffered during last Saturday's 21-16 loss at Miami. Driskel is on crutches to keep weight off of the leg.
Strong safety Marcus Maye (shoulder), cornerback Marcus Roberson (knee), Buck linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. (hip) and left tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) also should be ready to face to Vols, Muschamp said.
Right tackle Tyler Moore sustained an ankle injury after he replaced Humphries on the left side and would not play if the Gators had a game this weekend. Moore had three penalities against the Hurricanes.
Meanwhile, right guard Jon Halapio is expected to resume contact drills Wednesday for the first time since he tore a pectoral muscle this summer. Halapio, a second-team preseason All-SEC pick, was limited during preseason camp and missed the first two games, ending a streak of 27 starts.
But not every injured Gator is expected back in action next week. Freshman defensive back Nick Washington will need season-ending shoulder surgery. Muschamp said Washington re-aggravated a shoulder injury first suffered in high school during a skeleton period with the Gators.
Despite all the injuries, Muschamp said he would like the chance this weekend to wash away the bitter taste of the Miami loss.
"I wish we could line up and play this weekend," he said. "But we created this situation for ourselves."