Gamecock running back Brandon Wilds and center Cody Waldrop are expected to play against Florida on Saturday. The pair have missed six weeks due to injuries suffered in South Carolina's Sept. 28 win against Central Florida. Wilds dislocated his elbow against the Knights; Waldrop sprained his ankle.
Wilds said after Wednesday's practice that he would wear a brace on his left elbow as a precaution but that he is "100 percent." Prior to his injury, Wilds was averaging 6 carries per game and had rushed for 140 yards and 1 touchdown.
Wilds' availability should lighten the load on Mike Davis, who leads the SEC in rushing yards but, in the course of achieving that distinction, has taken a number of hits that have left Gamecock fans holding their breath. Having Wilds back increases the odds that Mike will be able to stay healthy and ensures that the Gamecocks have a capable backup if he can't. In Wilds' absence, Shon Carson played decently, but rarely ran for more yards than what the offensive line had blocked.
"My plan is to play [Cody]," offensive line coach Shawn Elliott said after Tuesday's practice. "I don't know if he'll start right now."
Save for a few errant snaps, Clayton Stadnik has played well in Cody Waldrop's absence, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that Waldrop could supplant Stadnik despite not having played in a game since September.
"[Cody] looks good, physically," Elliott said. "He's just getting back into rhythm. If Cody gets his snaps back and his timing back, I think he's got a little bit more strength than Clay does right now."