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Florida Gators stars Major Wright and Joe Haden miss Thursday's practice with illness

GAINESVILLE -- The Florida Gators secondary was hit hard on Thursday by the illness that is spreading through the football team.

According to Florida coach Urban Meyer, cornerback Joe Haden and free safety Major Wright did not practice on Thursday. With addition of Wright and Haden, 11 players have been sick in the last week, according to Meyer, including six starters. Meyer said that Wright and Haden "should be fine" for Saturday's game against Kentucky.

Asked who would play if Haden was unavailable, Meyer said: "If Haden isn't going, I'm not going." Senior cornerbacks Wondy Pierre-Louis or Markihe Anderson are Haden's likely replacements.

Meyer indicated on Thursday that Florida might be dealing with two different viruses, one with respiratory symptoms and one that causes stomach problems. Florida's coach also said on Thursday that the football team has had over 35 cases of sick players in the last three or four weeks.

"There are two different things we're dealing with now," Meyer said. "It's respiratory and it's a stomach issue. The guys with the respiratory, they've just been real cautious."

--Strong-side linebacker A.J. Jones, who was sick earlier this week, practiced on Thursday.

--Linebacker Brandon Spikes (Achilles heel) was seen limping heavily with his left shoe off after Thursday's practice. His status for Saturday's game is questionable.

-jo-

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