ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart said he was pleased with how the Bulldogs came out of Saturday night’s game against UMass in terms of injuries.
The problem was how Georgia went into the game, and things quickly got worse when inside linebacker Monty Rice suffered an injury in pre-game warmups.
“Not sure to what extent or how bad it is; he was just planting and driving, planting and driving,” Smart said after the 66-27 win over UMass at Sanford Stadium. “Then he said his foot was bothering him. So we did x-rays. I’m not sure the complete verdict, but he was ruled out for the game.”
Rice, who overcame a sprained knee that forced him to miss a start earlier this season, was one of the designated team captains for the UMass game. Instead he watched from the sideline on crutches.
The Georgia front seven has had its share of struggles this season, already missing run-stopping defensive end David Marshall indefinitely because of a foot injury.
Offensive guards Kendall Baker (knee) and Cade Mays (shoulder) did not dress, and guard Ben Cleveland didn’t see action on the punt team because the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (10-1) didn’t punt.
“As far as Ben, Ben had an ankle sprain that happened at the end of the Auburn game, the opposite leg of his [broken fibula] injury, so he’s playing both sides against the middle all week and he’s trying to do what he can to get back,” Smart said. “It’s tough when you’ve got an ankle and you’re coming off that injury. It’s not something you just wake up from.
“Ben is cleared. but Ben is not his normal self. If he didn’t have the ankle, it would be easier on him.”
Cleveland practiced in the days leading up to the UMass game and is expected to be back for next Saturday’s noon game against Georgia Tech in Sanford Stadium.
“We need everybody, all the time,” Smart said. “I don’t want anybody to be hurt. We want to stay as healthy as we can, but teams across the country are beat up. It’s why you have 85 scholarships.
“You’ve got to prepare guys and get guys ready to play. I think that we’re not as healthy as we have been in the past but things could be worse.”
Georgia football injury report
OLB Walter Grant (ankle) probable
OG Ben Cleveland (left fibula) probable
DL Tyler Clark (finger) probable
DB Divaad Wilson (knee) questionable
LB Monty Rice (lower left leg) questionable
OL Cade Mays (shoulder) questionable
OL Kendall Baker (knee) questionable
DE David Marshall (foot) out
DT DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle (unknown) out
DB Ameer Speed (unknown) out
DE Justin Young (unknown) out
SS Jarvis Wilson (unknown) out
DB Tray Bishop (internal team issue), out
RB Zamir White (knee), out for season
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