Georgia is holding its first scrimmage of the fall this afternoon. The media was granted a brief window prior to the start of the scrimmage to observe some of the drills. And while many will be interested in who performs well in the scrimmage, there were a few key individuals who were not out with the team at the start of practice.
We should preface here that just because a player is absent at the start of practice does not mean they are injured or missing. They could be off getting treatment or involved in some other pre-practice routine. Kirby Smart will speak with reporters later this afternoon and will provide a much clearer picture on the status of those who were not out there.
Wide receiver Arian Smith was not with the team, as he had ankle surgery on Friday. It is unknown how long Smith will be out but it’s believed he will at least miss the remainder of preseason practice.
Related: Georgia football wide receiver Arian Smith to undergo ankle surgery
Kendall Milton was also not with the running backs during pre-practice warmups. Milton’s father, Chris sent a rather cryptic tweet saying “He’s fine...” on Friday evening that has since been deleted, which would seem to be about the status of the junior running back.
“You lose reps when you’re not on the football field, but the way we structure practice and walkthroughs, he’s getting those mental reps that are well-needed against various looks,” Georgia running backs coach Dell McGee said of Milton on Thursday. “So, from that perspective, he’s still inclined to be a good running back on Saturday nights and afternoons.”
Offensive lineman Tate Ratledge was not with the group either at the start of practice. Ratledge is still working his way back from a foot injury that forced him to miss all but one series during the 2021 season. Georgia coaches have repeatedly expressed caution when discussing Ratledge and his path back to the field. He had consistently been working as the first team right guard in previous practices.
Tight end Brett Seither was not with his position group to start drills. Seither has been in a black jersey during every practice so far for the Bulldogs. Freshman wide receiver De’Nylon Morrissette was also absent during the viewing period as well.
Below are some other non-health-related observations from the viewing window:
- Smart was not a fan of defensive back Tykee Smith jogging at the start of a drill, with the head coach calling out Smith’s lack of effort. The defensive back still has a bulky knee brace on and does not appear close to being a contributor for this Georgia team.
- Wide receiver Dillon Bell continues to look impressive for Georgia. He made a great toe-tapping catch on the sideline during the practice session. With Arian Smith set to miss due to injury, Bell will look to grab some extra reps and push for more playing time.
- On the defensive side of the ball, senior safety Chris Smith made an impressive one-handed interception. The ball had been floated in there as part of the drill, but Smith was also keeping an opposing player at bay and effortlessly plucked the ball away as part of the drill.
- During an offensive line vs. defensive line drill, Xavier Truss and Jared Wilson were working with the usual trio of first teamers in Broderick Jones, Sedrick Van Pran and Warren McClendon. Georgia feels very good about its guard depth and has a number of options it can turn to. Truss was at left guard while Wilson was at right. In prior practices, Devin Willock had been with the first team at left guard and Ratledge at right.
- At the start of a 7-on-7 period, Darnell Washington came down with a nice catch over the middle. It continues to be a good fall for the junior tight end as he looks to take on a bigger role in the Georgia offense.
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