The Florida Gators will be without cornerback Kaiir Elam against the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, AllGators can confirm. Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel first broke the news on Saturday.
Elam, a junior and 2021 Preseason All-American, suffered a knee injury in the second quarter against Alabama this past Saturday when he collided with Gators defensive back Trey Dean III, while breaking up a deep pass to Crimson Tide wide receiver John Metchie III. Elam has since been diagnosed with a knee sprain, sources tell AllGators.
Through three games this season, Elam has recorded eight total tackles, an interception and three defended passes. Pro Football Focus credits Elam with allowing just four catches across ten targets in coverage this season, tied for the 17th best completion percentage given up in the FBS this season among qualifying cornerbacks (85+ coverage snaps this season).
Redshirt freshman Avery Helm has started every game at cornerback opposite of Elam this season, although true freshman Jason Marshall Jr. split snaps evenly with Helm against Alabama. It wouldn't be surprising to see Helm and Marshall start at outside cornerback this week, as such.
Another cornerback who could factor into the mix is graduate student Elijah Blades, who transferred to UF from Texas A&M in August. Blades logged seven snaps against Florida Atlantic in the season opener but has not played since. Head coach Dan Mullen said that Blades was dealing with a sore hamstring prior to the USF game in Week 2, which resulted in Blades not dressing against the Bulls.
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