Kirby Smart provides update on missing outside linebackers following UGA scrimmage

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Outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson is dealing with an ankle injury.

Outside linebacker might be Georgia’s most talented position group at the moment. But as the Bulldogs make their way through spring practice, Georgia football is pretty short-handed at the position.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart revealed after Saturday’s scrimmage that outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson is dealing with a sprained ankle, which is why he missed Thursday’s practice. Johnson was on a stationary bike at the beginning of practice on Saturday.

Related: Georgia Bulldogs fired up to be at Sanford Stadium for second scrimmage of spring

Johnson was the No. 1 JUCO player in the 2019 class, but has been hampered by a few injuries in his short time at Georgia. Johnson was dealing with a foot injury when he arrived at Georgia back in December.

“He’s got a sprained ankle,” Smart said. “…He should be fine. We expect to have him back in a couple of days.”

Two other outside linebackers were not working with the team, as sophomore Brenton Cox and junior Robert Beal deal with the fallout following their arrest on Tuesday.

Smart gave an update on their status as they continue to try and atone for their arrest.

“I don’t know if they’re going to be out there or not. It’s going to be on how well they handle their discipline,” Smart said.

Beal and Cox were both arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana charge after police found small amounts of the illegal drug in different areas of the players’ dorm room.

Cox was a 5-star recruit in the 2018 recruiting cycle, while Beal was a 4-star member of the 2017 class. The two combined for 2.0 sacks last season, but could both take on bigger roles for Georgia now that it must replace outside linebacker D’Andre Walker.

One outside linebacker Smart did comment on was Nolan Smith. The freshman was the No. 1 overall player in 2019 recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

“I thought Nolan played with a high motor today. He played really explosive but he’s got to get more explosive in the run game,” Smart said. “He certainly plays hard. You know he’s out there. He covers down and makes plays.”

Georgia returns to practice on Tuesday as it continues to prep for its G-Day game on April 20. The game will kickoff at 2 p.m. ET and will air on the SEC Network.

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