ATHENS — Georgia’s celebrated defense was missing three starters on Saturday, though it hardly seemed to matter against overmatched FCS opponent Charleston Southern.
The No. 1-ranked Bulldogs scored a 56-7 win on Senior Day, but former senior starters Christopher Smith and Adam Anderson were not on the field, and neither was junior starting outside linebacker Nolan Smith.
“Chris had a weird deal on Wednesday or Thursday, he had a bone bruise on his knee,” Smart said. “His knee kind of buckled, really a non-contact injury and he was not cleared and not ready to go. But we think he will be fine.”
The starting safety was on crutches on the sideline during the game.
Nolan Smith, meanwhile, was injured in the final moments of Georgia’s 41-17 win at Tennessee.
“Nolan’s elbow from last week, he practiced all week, he was a no-contact guy, but he ran around practiced, and gave good effort,” Smart said. “Probably could have gone if he had to have gone.
“But it was bothering some, and I think he’ll be fine for next week.”
Anderson, of course, is indefinitely suspended while dealing with a rape charge.
Georgia also held out senior offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer, who suffered a sprained ankle in practice last month.
Sophomore Broderick Jones started for a third straight game in place of Salyer, who could have played against Tennessee if needed last week, Smart had said.
Smart also updated the status of Dominick Blaylock, who saw his first game action since the 2019 SEC Championship Game, and George Pickens.
“Not sure on George, he’s still not completely cleared yet,” Smart said, asked when Pickens might return to action.
“He has to hit percentages on his knee, on his testing. He’s got jumps, he’s got Cybex, he’s got 15, 16 different tests that he does. When he hits a certain percentage, we think he’ll be able to get cleared.
" But we don’t know when that will be, it’s a matter of the strength in there and making sure that he’s safe.”
Pickens dressed out on Saturday but did not play.
“Dom had the flu this week, so we thought we’d get him back, and I think we got him back on Thursday,” Smart said. “He’s very smart, very intelligent, and he was able to jump right into the game plan.
“We lost kind of lost Kearis (Jackson) at the back of the week, Kearis was battling the flu a little bit, so those two guys shared that spot,” Smart said. “We just wanted to get Dom some confidence -- confidence to go out and play, catch the ball, get tackled, hit some people. Hopefully, he can spin this into some momentum.”
Georgia football availability report
CB Ameer Speed (ankle), played
RB Kenny McIntosh (hamstring), played
DT Devonte Wyatt (ribs), played
WR Jermaine Burton (groin), played
WR Dominick Blaylock (hamstring), played
OT Jamaree Salyer (foot), DNP
SS Chris Smith (ankle) DNP
WR Justin Robinson (hamstring) DNP
RB Kendall Milton (knee), DNP
WR George Pickens (knee), DNP
WR Arian Smith (leg), OUT
LB Trezman Marshall (knee), OUT
DB Tykee Smith (knee), OUT
LB Rian Davis (quad), OUT
CB Jalen Kimber (shoulder), OUT
OL Tate Ratledge (foot), OUT
OLB Adam Anderson (suspension) OUT
WR Arik Gilbert (personal) OUT