ATHENS — Georgia senior outside linebacker D’Andre Walker is currently not practice with the team on account of the groin injury he said he suffered in the third quarter.
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said Walker has a groin injury, but he’s expected to be back in time for the Sugar Bowl.
The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) play No. 15 Texas (9-4) at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 1 in New Orleans.
Walker said he went out in the third quarter with Georgia leading 28-21, and his exit correlated with the Alabama comeback, as Jalen Hurts was able to break containment and make key plays in the Tide’s comeback victory.
Walker, the Bulldogs’ sack leader this season (7.5), was having an MVP performance against the Tide before leaving the game with injury.
In less than three full quarters, Walker had five stops, two tackles-for-loss, a QB sack, two QB hurries, a pass break-up and a forced fumble.
“Walker is currently out, he hasn’t practiced, but we expect him to be back for the bowl game,” Smart said. “He’s had this injury before and returned in really good health. He’s actually ahead of schedule.”
Smart said offensive linemen Cade Mays is “good to go,” and inside linebacker Monty Rice is back practicing.
Mays (shoulder) has been out since the Auburn game (Nov. 10), and Rice has been out since suffering a foot injury during warmups for the UMass game (Nov. 17).
“Monty practiced the last two days, has good GPS numbers,” Smart said. “I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent, but he’s much closer.”
The same is true of offensive guard Ben Cleveland.
“Ben is much better than he was,” Smart said. “But Ben is still working to get back to 100 percent.”
Smart said at this point all of the players are expected to play in the game, and no juniors have announced plans to declare for the NFL Draft.
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