Injury update on Georgia’s Natrez Patrick

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Natrez Patrick has been in a black non-contact jersey at practice the past three weeks.

ATHENS — Georgia inside linebacker Natrez Patrick has not yet been cleared to play Saturday, but isn’t being ruled out yet.

Patrick, who is potentially critical to Georgia’s ability to stop Georgia Tech’s triple option, has missed the past two games with a shoulder injury he suffered at Kentucky. He was Georgia’s second-leading tackler for the season entering that game, and started as a freshman last year at Georgia Tech.

“We still think he may be able to go this week, and we’re hoping he can,” head coach Kirby Smart said after Tuesday’s practice. “I’m certainly hopeful that he can. We need him in this kind of game.”

Patrick has not been cleared to hit in practice, Smart said, and has been standing behind the defense about 15-20 yards to watch practice reps, in hopeful preparation of being able to play.

“He can run, he can do a lot of things, he can’t do a lot of contact right now,” Smart said. “He runs things exactly like he’s out there, he’s just 15-20 yards back.”

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