Gators' Ingram gone for season because of torn ACL

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida coach Urban Meyer confirmed to reporters following practice Thursday night that senior tight end Cornelius Ingram would undergo season-ending knee surgery next week.

Ingram, who caught seven touchdown passes last season for the Gators, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during a 7-on-7 drill Tuesday in practice. At the time, he didn't think it was a serious injury, but his knee began to swell later that night and into the next morning. An MRI showed a complete tear of the ACL.

"It's the hardest part of the game, the hardest part of coaching and the hardest part of playing, especially when you've got a guy like that who does everything right," Meyer said.

Ingram considered turning pro following last season, but elected to return for his senior season. The Gators had spent a big part of the spring and summer putting in a two-tight end package that would feature both Ingram and sophomore Aaron Hernandez.

"You feel terrible for [Ingram]," Florida quarterback Tim Tebow said. "He's such a big part of what we were planning to do, and I know he was going to have a great season. We've got to handle it, deal with it and go on, but it's not easy."

Ingram, who's already used up his redshirt year, could petition the NCAA for a sixth year, but Meyer indicated that the NFL would probably be Ingram's next stop.

Chris Low covers college football for ESPN.com.