GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Another key Gator's season is over.
Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley injured his right knee in a non-contact drill in practice Tuesday, and Gators coach Will Muschamp issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying the senior's season was over.
"Test results have revealed that he suffered a tear of both his ACL and medial meniscus, which will require season-ending surgery," Muschamp said in the statement.
"I talked to Dominique and the team this afternoon and we will continue to look for his leadership and experience throughout the season."
The 19th-ranked Gators (2-1) play Saturday at Kentucky (ESPNU, 7 p.m. ET).
Even before the coach's statement, Easley took his thoughts to Twitter at 11:39 a.m. ET Wednesday, possibly signifying the injury could be serious.
"Gatornation thank you for all of 4 yrs of sticking with me but god has something else planned for and have no worries #believe," he posted on his private Twitter account (@MR_ChUcKiE_2).
The loss of Easley, a senior and the vocal leader of Florida's defensive front, is a big blow.
"Watching any of your players go through this is one of the hardest things about being a coach," Muschamp said. "Obviously, it is hardest on Dominique. We are disappointed for him, but we will be there for him every step of the way through his surgery and rehab process."
Easley has five tackles this season — including two for loss — and is tied for the team lead with four quarterback hurries.
"Dominique is a guy that has a great motor, great enthusiasm as you can see on the field," Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. "I think that's a contagious thing. I think he's been very disruptive to many teams in the backfield. He plays the game the way we want guys to play on defense."
Easley suffered an ACL tear in his left knee against Florida State on Nov. 26, 2011, but returned for the start of the 2012 season.
Easley is the fifth Gator to go down with a season-ending injury this year after quarterback Jeff Driskel (broken right leg), offensive tackle Chaz Green (torn labrum), receiver Andre Debose (torn ACL) and linebacker Matt Rolin (torn ACL).
The school also announced Driskel had surgery Wednesday afternoon to insert a plate and two screws in the fracture.
Contributing: Landon Watnick, Florida Today