ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart indicated senior captain and starting center Lamont Gaillard along with right guard Ben Cleveland will be available to practice and play against Auburn this week.
The No. 6-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 6-1 SEC) play host to the rival Tigers (6-3, 3-3) at 7 p.m. on Saturday (TV: ESPN, Radio: WSB 750 AM, 95.5 FM).
Georgia clinched a trip to play Alabama in the Dec. 1 SEC Championship Game with the 34-17 win at Kentucky last Saturday, but the Bulldogs paid the price with some attrition.
Gaillard suffered a hyperextended left knee in the first quarter and didn’t return to action.
“(Gaillard) will be limited today, but we think he’ll be fine,” Smart said at his Monday press conference. “Ben continues to progress; thought he could have played if he had to (at Kentucky).”
Cleveland started the first four games of this season before suffering a broken left fibula in the Sept. 22 win at Missouri.
Smart said freshman offensive lineman Cade Mays, who has been filling in at right guard Cleveland, suffered a shoulder stinger when he left the Kentucky game in the third quarter. Senior Kendall Baker replaced Mays.
“Cade will probably be limited today,” Smart said. “We expect to get him back. Cade is tough and competitive, like a lot of our freshman class.”
Receiver/return man Mecole Hardman suffered an ankle injury, but Smart said he could have returned to action against Kentucky, had it been deemed necessary
Hardman has returned seven of his 10 punts this season for 20 yards or more, and he’s averaging 26.7 yards per punt return.
True freshman Trey Hill replaced Gaillard on Saturday, and while his performance was mostly solid, there was a high snap deep in Kentucky territory that resulted in a turnover.
“Trey, to be honest with you, there was times this year during fall camp we thought Trey may be a starter. I did,” Smart said. “We kind of tossed the idea around a lot of times. He’s just continued to work.”
Georgia football vs. Auburn