Meyer: Tebow not yet cleared to play
Florida coach Urban Meyer said Monday that his star player has not been cleared to return to the field or play against No. 4 LSU on Saturday night. But Meyer said the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner is no longer dealing with post-concussion symptoms.
"From what I understand, there's no symptoms and I think he's cleared to act like Tim Tebow," Meyer said. "Everything but practice right now. I know he's allowed to watch TV. Earlier in the week he wasn't allowed to do anything focused. I guess that's normal protocol. And then after a week they acclimate."
Meyer said Tebow has been without headaches and other symptoms for several days. He said Tebow was given balance and memory tests Friday, Sunday and Monday, and the results were "very positive."
Tebow was hospitalized overnight nine days ago after his helmet struck teammate Marcus Gilbert's leg during a sack in the game against Kentucky.
Tebow didn't attend any of Florida's practices last week, and Meyer said he wasn't sure whether Tebow would return this week.
Meyer also said Tebow still could play if he got cleared late in the week.
"I can't answer that," Meyer said. "Can Tim play quarterback at Florida against a very good defense without practicing? I don't know that. It's going to be as we move on."
The Gators (4-0) planned to practice Monday afternoon with third-year sophomore John Brantley taking most of the repetitions at quarterback.
Brantley has completed 73 percent of his passes this season for 232 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. But he's played only in mop-up duty, so he still hasn't taken a meaningful snap in three years at Florida.
Meyer said he would let everyone know when, and if, Tebow was cleared to practice, and insisted he wouldn't keep it a secret in hopes of deceiving the Tigers or making them prepare for both quarterbacks.
"I haven't even thought about it," Meyer said. "A lot of that I think is overrated. I think one's a great proven player and one's got a lot of ability. Do things change? Are we going to abandon [our offense] and all of a sudden be this I-formation, under-center, power, off-tackle team? No, we're not.
"We might have some of that in there. So is there an advantage? I don't know that. You'd have to ask them, but I think a lot of that's overrated."
LSU coach Les Miles said Monday he was "saddened" by Tebow's injury.
"It's the worst thing about college football. You don't want injury. You don't want it for your opponent. You don't want it for yourself," Miles said. "I want them to do whatever they need to do for them. Tim Tebow is great for football. He's great for Florida. If he's healthy and capable, we'd love to compete against him."
Although Tebow's injury has been talked about more than his Heisman chances, Meyer pointed out several times Monday that he's not even the only player on the team recovering from one.
Backup defensive back Moses Jenkins, a key contributor on special teams, also sustained a concussion against the Wildcats. Jenkins hasn't progressed as quickly as Tebow, Meyer said.
"Moses Jenkins is a critical guy, now," Meyer said. "Everyone's just kind of brushing that off. This return unit we're facing is dynamic."
Florida doesn't plan to rush either of them back.
"A concussion is much different than a sprained ankle, and our players don't fight that," Meyer said. "This is the way it is. Ankles, strained hamstrings and those types of things are much more difficult because you kind of want players to push. Here, you don't push at all.
"They're all chomping at the bit, but you don't push that. ... You don't push anything. You just do A, B, C, D, what you're told to do."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.