Georgia football practice observations: Kearis Jackson working to boost receiving corps

Georgia football-UGA-Kearis Jackson
Georgia football redshirt freshman WR Kearis Jackson was catching passes without a splint on his hand, a welcome sign for a receiving corps that struggled against South Carolina

ATHENS — Georgia had two of its key players on the practice field on Monday and aiming for a return against Kentucky on Saturday.

Cornerback Tyson Campbell was taking reps, and receiver Kearis Jackson was catching passes without a split. It was a sign of progress for two players who have the ability to be difference makers.

The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1 SEC) will be looking to bounce back against the Wildcats (3-3, 1-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday (TV: ESPN).

Jackson started the opening game against Vanderbilt at slot receiver and two catches for 31 yards against the Commodores before suffering a broken hand late in the 30-6 victory.

Jackson returned to practice two weeks ago with a splint. He was listed as a participant in the Tennessee and South Carolina games, but he was not targeted in either contest.

That could change soon. Kirby Smart revealed at his Monday press conference that Lawrence Cager could be out an extended amount of time with the separated shoulder and injured ribs he exited last Saturday’s loss with at halftime.

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“It’s important for our wideouts to be able to create separation for Jake (Fromm),” Smart said on Monday.

Campbell, meanwhile, was playing the best football of his career when he exited the Arkansas State game on Sept. 14 with a foot injury later discovered to be turf toe.

Smart said UGA has been very careful with Campbell’s return. It’s a delicate injury with an indeterminable recovery window that cannot be rushed.

The fact Campbell was working in drills represented significant progress from last week, though his status would still be best described as “questionable.”

“Tyson feels like he’s almost back,” Smart said. “He can run, plant, point, drive, but the pressure, the torque it takes to hit someone and drive off of it, that’s where he’s feeling pressure, that’s what he’s struggling with.”

Defensive lineman Travon Walker, who had a cast on his left arm and didn’t dress for South Carolina, was not at practice.

Tailback Brian Herrien, who dressed for the game Saturday but did not play on account of back spasms, was back at practice.

Offensive guard Justin Shaffer, as Smart had indicated earlier, was not present for practice. Shaffer has a sprained neck.

Cade Mays continued to work at left guard, as Solomon Kindley was at practice but did not appear 100 percent.

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