ATHENS — For the first time all season, Georgia appears to be trending in a positive direction on the injury front.
The Bulldogs have completed their first two practices of the week. Georgia saw Ladd McConkey, Kendall Milton and Javon Bullard all return to action against Auburn, each playing to varying amounts.
Bullard played all 65 snaps for Georgia on Saturday, finishing the game with 10 tackles and 2 pass breakups. The junior safety suffered an ankle injury in the Week 2 game against Ball State.
“Unscathed. Sore, it was a long game. Had not had that much running, physicality, use in two weeks, whatever it was, 14 days,” Smart said of Bullard. “You get sore when you don’t do anything for that long and you go do that much. It’s just typically what your body does. But he’s been good. He recovered Sunday Monday, was great, had a lighter day Monday and then got after it today. He seemed good today.”
McConkey played 26 snaps. He came down with 4 receptions for 38 yards, but three of those receptions came on third down.
“He feels like he’s recovered, he feels good,” Smart said on Monday. “He had to progress last week to the point of full speed, didn’t bother him. I’m pleased with that part of it. He wants to be out there. The biggest thing now for him is the conditioning level.”
The Auburn game was the first time all season McConkey played as he has been battling a back injury.
Milton played only 5 snaps against Auburn and did not register a carry. Daijun Edwards finished with 19 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown to finish as Georgia’s leading ball carrier.
Georgia did scale back its practice on Monday due to it being Georgia’s sixth straight game week but Smart added that he’s liked what he’s seen so far from Milton and McConkey.
“Yeah they’ve done great. We didn’t do a whole lot Monday,” Smart said. “We scaled back what our typical Mondays were and got after it today. They were great.
Freshman running back Roderick Robinson is working his way back from an ankle injury he sustained against South Carolina. His status is more up in the air compared to that of Milton, McConkey and Bullard.
Georgia did see tight ends Lawson Luckie and Pearce Spurlin make the trip to Auburn, indicating they’re good to go. They did not play in part because they’re still behind Brock Bowers and Oscar Delp on the depth chart.
“You want me to take Brock Bowers out and put one of them in. Anybody voting on that? If you vote that, you’re not a coach,” Smart said on Monday. “Yeah, they’re cleared. They’re not where they need to be physically or mentally to play SEC play. They’re trying to get there. But guys, this is a grown-man sport. To put a true freshman out there just because you guys had him as a four or five-star, that doesn’t mean he’s ready. It’s physical out there.”
Smart was also asked about Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, but the Georgia coach said he is not any closer to returning as he deals with a foot injury
The Bulldogs will have two more practices this week prior to Saturday’s game against Kentucky. The SEC contest is set for a 7 p.m. ET start, with ESPN broadcasting the game.
Kirby Smart updates Georgia football injuries
Georgia football injury update
Branson Robinson, knee -- out
Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, foot -- out
EJ Lightsey, shoulder -- out
Kelton Smith Jr., undisclosed -- out
Cole Speer, undisclosed -- out
Roderick Robinson, ankle -- doubtful
Pearce Spurlin, AC joint -- questionable
Javon Bullard, ankle -- questionable
Ladd McConkey, back -- questionable
Kendall Milton, knee -- questionable
Lawson Luckie, ankle -- probable
Austin Blaske, MCL sprain -- probable