Florida QB Tim Tebow, Others, Have Flu

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and
several teammates flew to Kentucky on a separate plane because of
respiratory and congestive issues, according to a person familiar
with Florida's travel plans.
Tebow, cornerback Joe Haden, safety Major Wright and others were
isolated on a separate plane Friday. They rejoined the top-ranked
Gators at the hotel, but it was unclear whether they would play
Saturday night against Kentucky. The person, who requested
anonymity, was not authorized to discuss players' health.
Florida has been battling illnesses for the last three weeks,
and coach Urban Meyer estimated that more than 35 players have been
sick during that stretch.
Running back Jeff Demps, defensive end Jermaine Cunningham,
linebacker A.J. Jones and tight end Aaron Hernandez - all starters
- were among the players isolated in the last 10 days because of
flulike symptoms.
The person familiar with Florida's travel plans said Tebow,
Haden and Wright were suffering from congestive issues. But the
person said they were not having trouble breathing.
Haden and Wright missed practice Thursday, but Meyer said he
expected both to play against the Wildcats. The person familiar
with Florida's travel plans said the health of all three has
improved since arriving in Lexington.
The person said everyone on the team's expected travel roster
made the trip, including receivers coach Billy Gonzales. He was
sent home early in the week, but he returned and wore gloves and a
mask at practice.
Meyer said earlier in the week there was no chance he would rest
sick players.
"That'd be one of the major errors in coaching history to go do
that, because you'd go lose," he said. "No. Absolutely not. We're
going to bring everything and go as hard as we can. That gets you
out of the profession, those kind of thoughts. You go as hard as
you can.
"The good thing is I've got a mature group. Not a whole lot of
cheerleading going on this week. Got to get better and go play."
The Gators beat Tennessee 23-13 last Saturday, a disappointing
victory for the heavily favored Gators. Meyer partially blamed the
conservative game plan on the illnesses. Volunteers coach Lane
Kiffin indicated that Meyer was using the illnesses as an excuse to
justify a less-than-desirable performance.


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