Will Grier‘s on-field sabbatical won’t end until the midpoint of the 2016 season. His off-field banishment, though, is less than a month away from ending.
Florida head coach Jim McElwain confirmed that the quarterback will resume working out with his teammates after the first of the new year. Grier hasn’t been permitted to practice with his Gator teammates in the run-up to their bowl game because of a 12-month suspension for taking testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs — Grier has repeatedly claimed he unknowingly took an over-the-counter supplement that contained a banned substance.
“He’ll join us back up in, what is it, Jan. 5,” McElwain said. “I think that’s the first day we’re going, so he’ll be ready to roll.”
While he will be permitted to take part in workouts and spring practice and the like, Grier will still miss the first six games of the 2016 season because of the suspension. Grier had appealed the NCAA’s initial decision, but that maneuver was shot down.
He will have missed a total of 14 games — six in the 2015 regular season, SEC championship, bowl and six in the 2016 regular season — as a result of a suspension when it’s all said and done.
Grier was the Gators’ starting quarterback prior to the punishment being handed down. With Grier out until midseason, Treon Harris, who began the year as the starter before losing the job and then gaining it back, and transfer Luke Del Rio Will Likely fight it out for the starting job.