ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Justin Fields was back on the practice field on Thursday looking for receivers one day after his head coach confirmed Fields is looking for a new team in his free time.
Fields looked sharp as ever running the second team, getting valuable snaps as the Bulldogs continued Sugar Bowl preparation for their game with No. 15-ranked Texas.
Fields’ Thursday performance was in line with how he has been practicing, according to Smart.
“I am pleased with his work towards Texas,” Smart said. “When he’s out there with us he has a really good demeanor, he’s getting good reps.”
Smart explained on Wednesday that he’s fine with Fields staying with the team while exploring a transfer because that’s what gives Georgia the best chance to win.
“We’re trying to figure out how to beat Texas, we’re going to do everything we can to beat Texas and whatever that instills for a game plan,” Smart said. “He decided he wanted to play in the Sugar Bowl and I told him absolutely, we’d love you to play the Sugar Bowl and want you there. He’s come out to work and do that and support his teammates.”
While Fields was present and accounted for on Thursday, FWAA Freshman All-American candidate Jordan Davis was missing from the defensive line ranks with no prior explanation from coach Kirby Smart.
Smart did say that outside linebacker D’Andre Walker would be out with the groin injury he suffered at the start of the fourth quarter with Georgia leading Alabama 28-21.
Walker’s return at the bowl site is questionable, as the talented senior has a Senior Bowl invite in hand and will have a great deal of NFL Draft stock riding on his performance in Mobile and at the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
Georgia freshman tailback James Cook was also missing from practice after reportedly (Rivals.com) being seen in a walking boot last Saturday night at the Bulldogs home basketball game with Arizona State.
Bulldogs offensive lineman Ben Cleveland continues to work with the second team with a noticeable limp. Cleveland suffered a broken fibula on Sept. 22 but then had a late-season ankle injury that has complicated his return to full strength.
Redshirt freshman Robert Beal was seen warming up at practice, but does not appear to have cleared the injury protocol to return to contact drills.
Smart said on Wednesday the workouts have been lively, but Thursday’s work seemed to lack the same flair as those during the regular season.
In addition to Fields likely leaving the program, tight end Luke Ford remains missing after entering his name into the NCAA transfer portal.
Smart also announced on Wednesday that troubled defensive back Deangelo Gibbs is off the team. The separation is indefinite, apparently, as Smart refused to clarify if there was an opportunity for Gibbs to return.