ATHENS — It looks like Sony Michel’s status will be one to watch in the lead-up to next week’s season opener. Perhaps right up until kickoff.

Michel, who broke his left arm in an ATV accident in early July, is making continual progress, to the point he was returning kickoffs in Thursday’s practice. H

“So he’s doing a lot of positive things,” head coach Kirby Smart said Friday during an appearance on the SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum Show. “It’s jut that he hasn’t been cleared to play yet, and it may even be a game-time decision.”

The question about Michel was prefaced by saying that while reports about Nick Chubb had been positive, they hadn’t been as good about Michel. Smart bristled at that.

“I’ve got great confidence in Sony, and Sony’s worked really hard to get in shape,” Smart said. “So the reports not being favorable, I don’t know if that’s accurate. The kid’s out there doing everything that he’s been cleared to do, it’s just that he hasn’t been cleared to do everything. So he looks great, he’s running, he’s in 7-on-7, he’s in a black jersey, he was returning kicks yesterday.”

Michel, in that black non-contact jersey, was again doing 7-on-7 work during Friday’s media viewing period, going after Chubb.

Georgia has not officially said that Chubb will play, but it has become patently obvious that he will, barring a setback.

“The big thing with Nick is going out there and playing confidently,” Smart said.