The Florida Gators will be without at least four starters and several depth pieces against the Missouri Tigers on Saturday night.
Following a two-week hiatus from practice due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the team, multiple sources have confirmed that starting defensive backs Marco Wilson, Donovan Stiner, and Shawn Davis, starting kicker Evan McPherson, linebacker Lacedrick Brunson, and cornerbacks Chester Kimbrough and C.J. McWilliams will be unavailable for Florida today for undisclosed reasons.
GatorsTerritory first reported that Wilson, Stiner, and Davis would miss the game, with Trey Dean III and Rashad Torrence II stepping up at safety in place of Stiner and Davis. Brad Stewart Jr. will start at STAR nickel corner in place of Wilson, per source, with Kaiir Elam and Jaydon Hill at outside cornerback.
Chris Howard will start in place of McPherson at place kicker.
Florida's defense has been a sore spot, from top to bottom, three games into the season as UF is allowing 495 yards per game, good for second-to-last in the SEC. Players such as Wilson and Stiner have struggled at times this year, however, lacking their experience after several weeks away from football could spell disaster for the Gators' defense.
Fortunately at safety, Dean has several years of experience across the secondary, while Torrence saw over 60 snaps of action in his first career game against Ole Miss in week one.
Howard has yet to start a game in his four-year career at UF but has connected on four extra-point attempts in his career.
The Gators will host the Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium tonight at 7:30 P.M. ET, on the SEC Network alternate station. You can find more information about the game here.