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Impact Analysis: What Harris' season-ending injury means for the Gators

Redshirt senior safety Marcell Harris (USA Today Sports Images)

The Gators defense suffered a devastating blow this week, when it was announced Thursday that redshirt senior safety Marcell Harris would miss the 2017 season after suffering a torn right Achilles tendon Wednesday while participating in team-run activities.

Now, Inside the Gators takes a closer look at what this means with an Impact Analysis.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR FLORIDA: This is the worst possible piece of offseason news for the Gators to learn, especially with a challenging season-opener against Michigan looming. A defense that loses eight starters would have certainly counted on Harris’ veteran leadership this season.

Now, the starting lineup on defense becomes that much younger and less experienced heading into 2017.

Especially in the secondary, there’s more pressure now on senior cornerback Duke Dawson to succeed in his new role on the outside. The Gators also become a little weaker at stopping the run at the backend, considering Harris’ success in the box as a tackler and ability to lay down the big hits.

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