ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart isn’t tipping his hand on the health of two key starters with Saturday’s game at Tennessee fast approaching.
The Bulldogs closed their Wednesday afternoon practice, so it’s hard to know how far along cornerback Tyson Campbell and left guard Solomon Kindley have come since missing practice last week.
Campbell has been out since suffered a right foot injury in the first half of Georgia’s 55-0 win over Arkansas State on Sept. 14.
“Yeah, he wasn’t able to go today,” Smart said following the Bulldogs’ practice on Tuesday. “He’s running. He’s running faster. He’s picking up speed, but he’s not able to go right now.”
Smart indicated earlier in the week that Campbell was healing fast, but in the media viewing portion of the Tuesday practice he was limited to running in place.
Junior college cornerback DJ Daniel played in place of Campbell in the 23-17 win over the Irish, and he accounted well for himself.
Kindley was running with the second team on Tuesday, taking snaps behind fellow junior Justin Shaffer.
“Yeah, Solomon got to go a good bit,” Smart said. “We think he’s going to be okay. It’s going to be a matter of whether he’s mentally ready to play more than physically ready to play.
“He’s in a similar situation that Isaiah Wilson was in the week of Notre Dame.”
Wilson, the Bulldogs’ starting right tackle, did not start against the Irish but came on in the second half.
Kindley figures to be a game-time situation as well, likely capable of going but with the coaches wanting to play things as cautious as possible
Georgia has games coming up at home against South Carolina (noon, Oct. 12) and Kentucky (Oct. 19) before its second and final bye week of the season.
The Bulldogs did get cornerback Eric Stokes (knee) and receiver Kearis Jackson (hand) cleared to play this week.
Defensive tackle Julian Rochester remains clear to play, but Smart indicated the sort of injury the senior if coming off has delayed his return to the field.
“He’s cleared and working his way back, he’s out there competing,” Smart said. “Julian is progressing, getting better. He had an ACL injury, which happened a little later than most of our ACLs, and he’s continuing to work.
“I feel like you all keep asking the question like you all are expecting him to run out there and start and play. When he’s ready to play, and he’s better than the guy that he’s going against or better than the guys that he’s behind, then he’ll play.”
Smart said UGA isn’t sure if Rochester suffered the injury in the SEC Championship Game, and it wasn’t diagnosed, or if occurred in the Sugar Bowl.”
Georgia injury report for Tennessee
WR Tyler Simmons (shoulder) probable
CB Eric Stokes (knee) probable
WR Kearis Jackson (hand) probable
DE David Marshall (foot) probable