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Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia football lineman Cade Mays is among three players that are questionable to play against Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart, Alabama’s Nick Saban update key injuries

ATLANTA — Georgia football offensive lineman Ben Cleveland and inside linebacker Monty Rice are “game-time decisions” according to Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said quarterback Tua Tagovailoa continues to be cleared to play and defensive ends Isaiah Buggs practiced each day this week after suffering a hyperextended knee against Auburn last Saturday.

Smart and Saban met with the media at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Friday afternoon to preview the SEC Championship Game.

The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) play No. 1-ranked Alabama (12-0) at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the league title game in this stadium.

Smart also said that freshman offensive lineman Cade Mays is also questionable to play against the Crimson Tide.

“Ben has practiced better than he has in previous weeks, but he will still be game-time decision,” Smart said. “Cade practiced a little bit yesterday, and Monty was able to practice a little bit as well.”

Cleveland suffered a broken fibula on Sept. 22 at Missouri and has been limited since returning, his leg injury complicated by a sprained ankle suffered in practice.

Rice leads Georgia in tackles per game, but he has been sidelined since suffered a foot injury in pregame warmups before the UMass game.

Mays suffered a shoulder stinger against Kentucky and has not played since.

Tagovailoa has shed a knee brace he was wearing to protect his PCL the past two games, but earlier this week said that he experienced pain sporadically.

“From a medical standpoint they didn’t feel he needed to have a brace on his knee only longer,” Saban said. “He looks like he can run efficiently and effectively … as far as we’re concerned he’s medially cleared to play.”

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