Georgia football injury report: Receivers getting up to speed, secondary taking hits
ATHENS — Every team has bumps and bruises, as Georgia coach Kirby Smart often says, but the Bulldogs are getting closer to full strength at crucial positions.
The No. 6-ranked Bulldogs (7-1, 4-1 SEC) play host to Missouri (5-3, 2-2) at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium (TV: ESPN).
Most of the injury news from the game has centered around Tigers QB Kelly Bryant, who exited his Oct. 26 game with Kentucky with a hamstring ailment. Bryant said on Tuesday he was “75 percent” but Missouri coach Barry Odom said Wednesday the Clemson transfer is on track to play.
Georgia, meanwhile, has gotten a recent lift where it has needed it most, in the receiving corps.
Lawrence Cager’s return to the lineup at Florida after missing a game-and-a-half with shoulder and rib injuries proved pivotal, as he reeled in 7 catches for 132 yards and a TD in the 24-17 win over the Gators.
Receiver Kearis Jackson has been back in the lineup for four games since missing three games with a broken hand. Jackson has only been targeted once since his return, but his presence has provided a lift to an inexperienced receiving corps that was struggling.
Demetris Robertson looked slowed by a hamstring ailment much of the first half of the season, but it appeared clear against Florida that Robertson is back up to full speed.
The Bulldogs’ starting offensive line was back intact last Saturday for the first time since the season-opening game when Solomon Kindley made his first start since the 23-17 win over Notre Dame on Sept. 21.
Kindley’s return helped offset the loss to Justin Shaffer, who was filling in admirably at left guard when he suffered a neck injury that has kept him sidelined.
The biggest name still out of the lineup for Georgia is cornerback Tyson Campbell, who has not played since the first half of the 55-0 win over Arkansas State on Sept. 14.
Campbell has been practicing the past 2 1/2 weeks and dressed for two games, but Smart said he’s not 100 percent and the Bulldogs are being cautious.
The impressive play of junior college transfer DJ Daniel has allowed for Campbell to take his time returning.
“We probably didn’t realize how good of a physical tackler he is,” Smart said this week, asked of Daniel’s emergence. “Guy isn’t afraid of contact.”
Daniel has proved to be a key addition, especially with senior defensive back Tyrique McGhee suffering a foot injury last week that prevented him from traveling to Florida.
“Tyrique is dealing with his foot again, his foot tweaked on him during the off week and he’s had surgery done on that foot,” Smart said. “We’re having to be really careful with him. He didn’t travel to Florida and it’s not 100 percent.”
Smart also revealed that sophomore inside linebacker Channing Tindall has been dealing with an undisclosed injury. Channing was not at the Florida game nor at Monday practice. Smart indicated he could be back for the game at Auburn.
Senior nose tackle Michael Barnett was held out of Georgia’s game against Florida with an unspecified “nagging” injury. Barnett was taking part in practice on Monday and Smart didn’t indicate he would miss any more time.
Georgia football injury report
WR Lawrence Cager (shoulder) probable
WR Tyler Simmons (shoulder) probable
DT Michael Barnett (unknown) probable
CB Tyson Campbell (foot) questionable
DB Tyrique McGhee (foot) doubtful
LB Channing Tindall (unknown) doubtful
QB D’Wan Mathis (head) doubtful
WR Tommy Bush (groin) out
OL Justin Shaffer (neck) out