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Curtis Compton / AJC
Georgia offensive lineman Cade Mays has been dealing with injuries and missed practice time.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart: Offensive line health improving

ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart said offensive linemen Cade Mays and Ben Cleveland are back practicing this week, increasing the optimism they will play on Saturday.

“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.”

Smart said Cleveland missed two practices last week on account of a toe ailment.

The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (9-1, 6-1)  play host to No. 24 Texas A&M (7-3, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sanford Stadium (TV: CBS).

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Smart said the level of health is obviously key, but so is the level of play of the backups.

“I think health is the number one factor,” Smart said. “If you don’t have health, you don’t have an opportunity.

“Is a guy 90 percent better than a backup that’s 100 percent?”

Senior grad-transfer receiver Lawrence Cager has been cleared to practice, but Smart said there was a question if he could sustain his health.

“He’s been good,” Smart said on Tuesday. “He’s repped, he’s practiced.”

Cager, who turned in a 7-catch, 132-yard performance against Florida, has been dealing with a separated shoulder for more than a month.

Joe Moore Award Semifinalists

The Georgia offensive line has been pivotal to the team’s success, and has been named one of the 10 semifinalists for the Joe Moore Award, which goes to the best offensive line in college football.

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