Gamecocks going to Gators banged up, bitten by flu bug

No. 7 South Carolina will head to The Swamp without some of its top players, including injured running back Marcus Lattimore, possibly-suspended defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and several players who are suffering from the flu.

The banged-up Gamecocks (6-1, 4-1 SEC) are preparing for Saturday’s pivotal SEC showdown against No. 2 Florida (6-0, 5-0 SEC) without their full compliment of players, many of whom have been limited this week due to injuries and a flu bug going through the squad.

“We’ve had a bunch of guys sick,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “Bruce (Ellington) did not practice today. Ace (Sanders) missed yesterday. (Mike) Matulis was out today. Jimmy Legree was out. A little flu bug hit us before we got the flu shots. Hopefully, those guys will be back by the weekend.”

The biggest concern may be Lattimore, who suffered a hip injury in last week’s 23-21 loss at LSU. He has not practiced since then, giving back-ups Kenny Miles and Mike Davis more reps. Quarles faces a possible suspension after punching an LSU player during the game, although his punishment has not yet been announced.

“Marcus Lattimore did not practice again today,” continued Spurrier. “I don’t know how to list him. I’m not sure if he’s even going to be able to play. … There’s a good chance Kenny will end up starting the game. We’ll see how Marcus is by the weekend.

“(Jadeveon) Clowney is limited – his foot is bothering him. And of course the defensive tackles, (Kelcy) Quarles, (JT) Surratt and (Byron) Jerideau; Quarles probably won’t play. JT and Jerideau are limited, so we’ve got the freshmen guys, Phillip Dukes and Gerald Dixon (Jr.), ready to go. So we’re sort of banged up a little bit all of a sudden.”

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Thursday. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

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