After quarterback Graham Mertz left the game against Missouri, the Florida Gators received an official update from Billy Napier, both after the game and on Monday. Mertz was immediately X-rayed, which revealed a collarbone injury that would likely end his season. Although Mertz returned to the sideline in a sling, a second X-ray confirmed that his season was over.
Napier stated, “We took another image yesterday. We felt good about that image. We’re going to basically go in a two-week period here where we’re going to give it a chance for the fracture to start the process of growing back and then we’ll reevaluate things. In the meantime, we’re going to do exhaustive research on like cases in college football and in the National Football League, relative to players that have been through similar injuries. Just making sure we’re giving him the best map for him going forward with the rest of his career.”
Mertz fell just short of the 3,000-yard mark, throwing 20 touchdowns with only three interceptions all season. The Gators will now turn to redshirt freshman Max Brown, who has limited college football experience. Similarly, Florida State will also utilize a backup quarterback.
Napier expressed confidence in Brown, stating, “He’s been working hard since the first day he got here. He’s improved. I think the players, he’s got good connection and camaraderie with the players. They see him every day. They know who he is and what he’s capable of.”
Alex Martin is your guide to the global phenomenon of football. With a focus on international leagues and tournaments, he provides match commentary, player interviews, and behind-the-scenes stories from the world of football.