Coach Billy Napier ruled out leading receiver Xzavier Henderson and second-leading receiver Justin Shorter along with backups Ja’Quavion Fraziars, Marcus Burke and Thai Chiaokhiao-Bowman on Wednesday.
Ricky Pearsall was listed as questionable, but Napier expects the Arizona State transfer to be cleared to play.
“We’ve been in this situation in the past,” Napier said. “There’s been parts of our team every week throughout the season where we’ve had a handful of guys banged up.
“It’s a great opportunity for those players and we’ve got great stories from different times of the year. … Next guy up and certainly excited to watch some of these guys play.”
Caleb Douglas, Pearsall and Daejon Reynolds were listed as projected starters on Florida’s weekly depth chart. Reynolds made the most of an increased role last week at Vanderbilt, finishing with eight catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns.
Reynolds has 11 catches for 244 yards on the season. Douglas has eight receptions for 150 yards and two scores. Pearsall has caught 24 passes for 448 yards and three TDs. But there’s little, if any, depth behind them.
“There’s no question they’re very capable,” Napier said. “The way we practice, all the players on our team get multiple opportunities throughout the OTAs in the summer, training camp, you know it helps you build depth on your team so you can survive some of these situations.”
Henderson and Shorter have been Florida’s big-play receivers all year. Henderson has 38 catches for 410 yards and two TDs. Shorter has 29 receptions for 577 yards and two scores.
Florida does not disclose the exact nature of injuries, only saying upper or lower body. Henderson and Shorter both have lower-body injuries. Pearsall, Fraziars, Burke and Chiaokhiao-Bowman have upper-body issues.
Bautista (AL), Williams (NL) named top relievers
NEW YORK — Baltimore‘s Félix Bautista was a unanimous winner of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and Milwaukee‘s Devin Williams won the Trevor Hoffman National League honor on Wednesday.
Bautista, a 28-year-old right-hander, was 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA and 33 saves in 39 chances for the AL East champion Orioles. He made his final appearance on Aug. 25 and had Tommy John surgery on Oct. 9, which likely will cause him to miss the 2024 season.
Williams, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 8-3 with a 1.53 ERA and 36 saves in 40 opportunities for the NL Central champion Brewers. Williams also won the award in 2020 and joined former teammate Josh Hader, Edwin Díaz, Liam Hendriks, Kenley Jansen and Craig Kimbrel as the only multiple winners of the honor, known as the Delivery Man of the Year Award from 2005-13.
Rivera and Hoffman were among the six voters, joined by fellow Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Rollie Fingers along with John Franco and Billy Wagner. Balloting was based on the regular season and used a system in which the first choice got five points, the second three and the third one.
Sources: Severino to crosstown Mets for $13M
Severino, 29, will join the Mets and a rotation in significant need of help after spending his eight-year career with the New York Yankees.
He struggled this season with a 6.65 ERA, but posted a 3.39 ERA in 638 innings over his previous seven seasons. If Severino thrives, he’ll hit free agency again next year, and he can earn up to $2 million in performance bonuses from the Mets.
Utah St. QB to skip final season for SEAL training
Williams revealed in a radio interview with a Salt Lake City radio station on Monday he intends to skip his final year of collegiate eligibility with the goal of becoming a SEAL officer in 2025.
“I just want to be in a spot where I can protect this great country where we get to play football with the freedom to do that,” Williams told KSL 97.5 FM. “I think this is the best country in the world, so I’d like to keep it that way and protect it as long as I can.”
The junior quarterback plans to take a SEAL qualifying fitness test after the season. It is a rigorous test that features a 500-yard swim, maximum push-ups, pull-ups, and curl-ups done in separate two-minute intervals, and a 1.5-mile run. The individual time for either the swim or the run cannot exceed 12 ½ minutes.
Williams said he embraces the challenge and is eager to follow in the footsteps of parents and grandparents who served in the military before him. Being a SEAL specifically appeals to him because of the chance to be in a team-oriented environment.
“What I love about their ethos and their motto is that no one guy is better than the other,” Williams said. “It takes all of them to complete a mission.”
Williams spent three seasons with Wyoming before entering the transfer portal following the 2021 season. He joined Utah State and has appeared in 16 games for the Aggies over two seasons.
The seldom-used Williams began the season as Utah State’s third-string quarterback but made his first start since 2021 in the Aggies’ regular season finale against New Mexico. He played mostly on special teams during the season, but injuries to Cooper Legas and McCae Hillstead forced Aggies coach Blake Anderson to turn to the former Wyoming transfer to run the offense.
Williams tallied 351 all-purpose yards to help Utah State edge the Lobos 44-41 in double overtime. He accounted for five touchdowns — culminating in a game-winning 13-yard run after retrieving a snap that went behind him — to help the Aggies become bowl eligible for a third consecutive season.
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