ATHENS — Kirby Smart opened the football portion of his Monday press conference talking about injuries, updating media on his banged-up offensive line and hobbled go-to receiver.
It was a preemptive strike.
The Georgia football head coach doesn’t want to be asked about the specifics, or go down the laundry list of players limited, or out or dealing with injuries.
The media viewing portions of practices have been closed the past two weeks, the Bulldogs understandably not wanting opponents to know who is healthy enough to go through drills, and who has been sitting out.
Georgia’s football season is on the line once again this Saturday and Smart is no different than any other coach in the sense that he doesn’t want to give away any more information than necessary.
The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1 SEC) play host to No. 24 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium (TV: CBS).
It’s a Georgia team that survived Auburn, 21-14, despite being outgained 158 yards to 2 yards in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs were missing three offensive starters by the end of the contest.
Smart revealed after last Saturday’s game that Ben Cleveland missed two practices following his SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week performance against Missouri.
On Monday, Smart acknowledged that Georgia’s Swiss Army Knife Offensive Lineman, Cade Mays, would miss time on the practice field.
On Tuesday, Smart offered some hope, albeit, limited.
“Cade has been out there working, and Ben has practiced,” Smart said on Tuesday. “Cade didn’t do much yesterday, he did a lot more today as far as reps, we’re hopeful he’ll be able to go.”
For receiver Lawrence Cager, who has been playing with a separated shoulder, Smart said it’s a matter of how much he could “sustain.”
Even the staff photographer, Chamberlain Smith, has been held out of action this week after her sideline collision with Brian Herrien.
But Georgia has a fair share of players who have been playing despite injuries, receivers Tyler Simmons (shoulder) and Demetris Robertson (hamstring) both appearing somewhat limited, as well as defensive lineman David Marshall (foot) and offensive linemen Isaiah Wilson (ankle) and Trey Hill (ankle).
Others simply don’t put the pads on and thus don’t get asked about anymore: Defensive back Tyrique McGhee (foot), receiver Tommy Bush (groin), quarterback D’Wan Mathis (head), lineman Justin Shaffer.
Georgia football injury report
WR Lawrence Cager (shoulder) probable
WR Tyler Simmons (shoulder) probable
C Trey Hill (ankle) probable
OG Ben Cleveland (foot) probable
DL David Marshall (foot) probable
OL Cade Mays (ankle) questionable