Josh Kendall

Two Gamecocks return to practice; one starter still missing

A back-to-back winning SEC conference record for USC possible

Muschamp: Back to back winning conference seasons is progress
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Muschamp: Back to back winning conference seasons is progress

South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle and defensive end Aaron Sterling returned to practice for the Gamecocks on Wednesday morning, but starting defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams remains sidelined and may miss Saturday’s game against No. 19 Florida.

“I am still hopeful that all three will be ready to go Saturday,” head coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday.

Allen-Williams is fifth on the team in tackles this season with 36. He leads the Gamecocks in tackles-for-loss with 10 and in quarterback hurries with five. He has played 48 games in his South Carolina career, with 21 starts, and totaled 171 tackles, 27.5 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks.

“That’s definitely a big loss,” senior cornerback Rashad Fenton said. “We are definitely going to miss Bryson. He brings a ton of energy. Like coach said, next man up. I am sure the next man is going to bring just as much intensity.”

The 6-foot-1, 230-pound Allen-Williams missed the final 10 games of the 2017 season due to a shoulder injury and took a redshirt season in order to return and play this year. Allen-Williams could play without practicing this week, Muschamp said.

“He knows what we do and how we do it,” Muschamp said. “We will see how he continues to progress through the week.”

Earlier this week, Muschamp announced that safeties Jamyest Williams (shoulder) and Javon Charleston (shoulder) suffered season-ending injuries in the Ole Miss game. Wide receiver OrTre Smith (knee), linebacker Eldridge Thompson (shoulder), defensive lineman Jovaughn Gwyn (foot), defensive lineman Tyreek Johnson (knee) and running back Caleb Kinlaw (knee) previously had been ruled out for the season due to injury.

Safeties J.T. Ibe (knee) and Nick Harvey (concussion) have each have missed long stretches due to injury.

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