Anthony Richardson did not see the field in Florida’s 40-17 loss to South Carolina on Saturday night, and now we know why.
Florida coach Dan Mullen told reporters Monday that Richardson, who has been splitting quarterback snaps with Emory Jones throughout the season, injured his knee while dancing at the team hotel the night before the game.
According to Gators Territory, Mullen said Richardson received treatment on the knee on Saturday and an MRI of the knee came back “clean.”
The previous week, Richardson suffered a concussion during the Oct. 30 loss to Georgia — a game in which he made his first career start. Mullen said Richardson, a freshman, was cleared to practice on Thursday ahead of the trip to South Carolina, but then was held out after hurting the knee.
Richardson was dressed for the South Carolina game but did not play. Mullen said he would have played in an “emergency-only situation.” Jones started and completed 17-of-30 passes for 258 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“[Richardson] got cleared to practice Thursday for the concussion. So he only practiced Thursday then somehow he hurt his knee dancing Friday night,” Mullen said. “Then he did treatment all day Saturday but was fine to go play. He could have played Saturday but having not practiced, coming off a concussion, and with that, he was going to be in an emergency-only situation.”
Florida dropped to 4-5 with loss to South Carolina
With the loss to South Carolina, Florida dropped to 4-5 and is now 2-8 in its last 10 games vs. Power Five opponents. On Monday morning, the school confirmed the firing of two Mullen assistants: defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy.
Grantham had been Mullen’s defensive coordinator for the past five seasons, dating back to his last year at Mississippi State. Mullen and Hevesy’s relationship goes back 20 years as both were young assistants on Urban Meyer’s staff at Bowling Green in the early 2000s.
During his Monday news conference, Mullen said he knew he was going to make those changes after the season so he decided it was right to do it now.
"My responsibility as the head coach is to do what's best, what I feel is best for the Florida Gators. And that comes above it all," Mullen said Monday. "It was obviously a really tough decision to make. It was something that was weighing on me.”
The Gators will return to action on Saturday against Samford before closing out the season against Missouri and Florida State. Florida needs to win two of those three games to clinch bowl eligibility.