ATHENS — GEorgia knew coming into Saturday’s spring game that it would be without a number of key contributors. Mykel Williams, Kendall Milton and Pearce Spurlin were all out due to injuries picked up during the course of spring practice.
The two newest additions to the Georgia injury list were running back Branson Robinson and linebacker Smael Mondon. Smart said both were dealing with lower extremity injuries and their severity was unknown. Robinson had a boot on his right foot, while Mondon had one on his left boot.
Neither was dressed out. Rara Thomas was dressed out but he did not play a snap on offense. And it was not due to an injury.
“Rara has some things he has to work on and we’re working on those things,” Smart said in his postgame press conference. “He was with us and he did some special teams things but he did not play on the offensive side of the ball.”
Thomas was arrested earlier this offseason but so was linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson, who got the start for the first-team defense on Saturday.
Thomas transferred into the program from Mississippi State this offseason. He was one of three transfers to arrive at Georgia this offseason, as the Bulldogs also added wide receiver Dominic Lovett and cornerback Smoke Bouie. Lovett caught two passes for 30 yards while Bouie had a tackle on the afternoon.
Georgia did see defensive tackle Bear Alexander enter the transfer portal shortly before Saturday’s spring game. The portal will remain open from Saturday through April 30. The Bulldogs had 10 players enter the transfer portal in December and January, though none as impactful as Alexander.
He was expected to be a key piece of Georgia’s defensive line this fall. Now, Georgia will have to adjust to the new reality of college football.
“You know, that’s the way of the world. It’s who handles it and manages it best,” Smart said. “It’s a new climate we’re in. The window will open and all across the country there will be guys going in and looking for greener pastures. Ultimately the climate we have created and more power to them.”
Other than Alexander, Georgia is expected to get all of the injured players this spring back. Smart was asked about defensive contributors Marvin Jones Jr., Jalon Walker and Dan Jackson as far as their eagerness to get back onto the field.
“They didn’t do much. I saw them do a lot of ab work, a lot of ropes, a lot of sit-ups, and a lot of getting yelled at by the microphone because I’m mad they’re not out there,” Smart said. “They haven’t been able to do a lot. They all three take every walkthrough rep. They sit in every meeting. They pay attention, they hear your script, they make calls, they coach younger players.
“That’s the culture that’s created. Like hey man, you’re not in, you better coach the next guy up. They did that.”
Georgia won’t return to Sanford Stadium until Sept. 2, when the Bulldogs open the 2023 season against UT-Martin. The hope is that Georgia will be close to full strength.
Kirby Smart updates status of Rara Thomas, Branson Robinson, Smael Mondon
Georgia football injury report for 2023 G-Day game
- Bear Alexander (out, transfer portal)
- Branson Robinson (out, right lower leg)
- Smael Mondon (out, left lower leg)
- Marvin Jones Jr. (out, shoulder)
- Jalon Walker (out, shoulder)
- Mykel Williams (out, foot)
- Pearce Spurlin (out, collarbone)
- Kendall Milton (out, hamstring)
- Andrew Paul (out, ACL)
- Dan Jackson (out, foot)
- Joshua Miller (out, shoulder)
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