ATHENS — Based on the early returns of Georgia’s “Bloody Tuesday” practice at Woodruff Practice Fields, Andrew Thomas looks good to go at left tackle and Cade Mays looks like the leader in the clubhouse for starting at right guard.
Former Georgia offensive tackle John Theus, a volunteer assistant who recently retired from the NFL, works with Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas during Tuesday’s practice. (Chip Towers/DawgNation)
It was just one 15-minute glimpse of practice on Monday, but Thomas and Mays with No. 1 offensive line is also what the Bulldogs showed on Monday. Thomas, the sophomore who was named freshman All-America in 2017, started but was unable to go long against Missouri after having his left ankle rolled up again in the first half. Mays, a freshman from Knoxville, filled in for Thomas as he did the previous two games.
It’s not 100 percent guaranteed Thomas will play. He was limping significantly before Tuesday’s practice and between reps during the workout. Coach Kirby Smart indicated it’d be a game-time decision. But his presence with the No. 1 line during the full-pads practice is a strong indication he’s going to try to go.
Meanwhile, starting right guard Ben Cleveland is definitely out with a broken fibula. Mays was working there again Tuesday after also doing so during Monday’s observation period. Sophomore Justin Shaffer filled in for Cleveland during last Saturday’s 43-29 win over Missouri.
Georgia has many other options besides. Solomon Kindley started the first 11 games of 2017 at right guard before giving way to Cleveland. Kindley is presently working at first team left guard. The Bulldogs are also trying to get Trey Hill and Jamaree Salyer involved. Both freshmen traveled to Columbia last weekend. Hill played, while Salyer — the No. 1-rated guard prospect in the country last year — did not.
Other observations from Tuesday’s full-contact practice:
- Georgia defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mel Tucker was spending an extensive amount of time working with cornerbacks Tyson Campbell and Deandre Baker on jamming receivers on the line of scrimmage. Campbell is showing no ill effects of the shoulder sublexation and dehydration that took him out of last Saturday’s game.
- Thomas and fellow left tackle D’Marcus Hayes were getting extensive personal instruction from volunteer coach John Theus on run-blocking schemes.
- Inside linebacker Monty Rice was practicing without limitations and getting reps with the No. 1 unit. Rice traveled to Missouri with the Bulldogs but did not play due to a strained MCL. He’s wearing only a rubber sleeve on the injured leg.
- Assistant coach Cortez Hankton deserves praise for the job he’s doing with Georgia’s wide receivers. The Bulldogs have been without leading receiver Terry Godwin most of the season yet have not missed a beat in terms of providing a consistent passing threat for opposing teams. Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman and Tyler Simmons have been the Bulldogs’ top three wideouts. Now that Simmons is sidelined for a couple of weeks with a shoulder injury, Jeremiah Holloman has moved into the spot.
- Meanwhile, Hankton continues to give transfer Demetris Robertson a lot of personal attention. The former 5-star from Savannah by way of Cal-Berkley has yet to catch a pass for the Bulldogs.