Florida football: Starting LB Shemar James out for season with dislocated kneecap

By OnlyGators.com Staff
November 2, 2023
Florida football: Starting LB Shemar James out for season with dislocated kneecap

Image Credit: UAA

Florida Gators sophomore linebacker Shemar James will miss the remainder of the 2023 season with a dislocated kneecap, an injury that recently required surgery. James injured his knee while warming up at TIAA Bank Field when the newly sodded surface came up while he was cutting in preparation for Florida’s game last week against the Georgia Bulldogs.

He suited up and played most of the game for the Gators but went down for good in the fourth quarter and was unable to return. The dislocation is believed to be in the same knee James injured in high school.

Head coach Billy Napier revealed James’ status Wednesday stating that he is expected to be fully recovered by the time spring practice begins.

An eight-game starter already for Florida this season, James leads the Gators with 55 total tackles and stands second with 5.5 tackles for loss. Following an impressive freshman season, he has stood out amongst his peers as a program leader, a foundational piece upon which Napier has been constructing his roster. Many would consider him the quarterback of the defense.

Redshirt junior Mannie Nunnery will see the field more moving from backup to starter in James’ stead. Redshirt senior Teradja Mitchell, who has already seen significant playing time this season, might see increased action as well.

Already thin at numerous positions, the Gators have dealt with significant injury issues throughout the season. Most notable has been redshirt junior starting center Kingsley Eguakun, who has played fewer than half of Florida’s games while dealing with a nagging ankle injury.

The Gators also lost a pair of projected starters before the season began. Defensive lineman Justus Boone injured his knee during practice, and top transfer offensive lineman Kiyaunta Goodwin had to return home to deal with a family medical situation.

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