Antonio Callaway had last weekend off against North Texas as he tended to his injured quad.
But come Saturday, when No. 19 Florida hits the road to face No. 14 Tennessee, the speedy sophomore receiver is expected to be back in the lineup.
UF coach Jim McElwain said Wednesday that Callaway’s status for the game is “questionable to probable” but remained optimistic about the receiver’s availability.
Callaway leads the Gators with 201 receiving yards on 13 catches and also has a pair of touchdowns despite only playing in two of UF’s first three games.
“We’ll kind of see how that goes,” McElwain said. “But he’s got to be running 100 percent for us to put him out there. I know how much it means to him.”
In other injury news, McElwain said linebacker Daniel McMillian (high ankle sprain) is doubtful.
Diligent Del Rio: Even though he is unlikely to play against Tennessee, quarterback Luke Del Rio hasn’t been standing idly on the sidelines during practice.
McElwain said that in addition to his rehab, the redshirt sophomore, whose left knee was injured on a low hit during Saturday’s 32-0 win against North Texas, has been active in the meetings and in learning Florida’s game plan. Del Rio will make the trip with the Gators to Knoxville.
“He’s preparing himself just like he’s the starter,” McElwain said, “and that really is what you expect from that position.”
Purdue graduate transfer Austin Appleby will start in Del Rio’s place this weekend, and McElwain has not ruled out giving true freshmen Kyle Trask and Feleipe Franks playing time.
“This is one of those games, it’s a great opportunity for Austin to jump in there,” McElwain said, “and we’ll get a chance to get Kyle and Feleipe some reps.”
Secondary success: First-year UF defensive backs coach Torrian Gray has been around talented secondaries in his coaching career, with 10 of his former players at Virginia Tech being selected in the NFL Draft.
But the 42-year-old coach said the group of players he has this year is one of the most confident he’s worked with over his 17 years.
Florida’s secondary has excelled through its first three games. The Gators are holding opposing quarterbacks to a national-low 34-percent completion rate and are one of two Football Bowl Subdivision teams to not allow a passing touchdown this year.
“It’s fun because those guys, they’re big personalities,” Gray said, “but they really have a great chemistry with each other. It helps them to be able to mesh all that and come out and play together. Those guys genuinely have great chemistry.”