ATHENS — Coach Kirby Smart is doing his best to make sure that Georgia’s best and brightest players will all be available to play in the G-Day Game. But there is increasing evidence some key players may have to sit out the heavily promoted game on Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
As of Thursday evening, Smart was holding out hope that offensive stars Terry Godwin and D’Andre Swift will be available. Godwin practiced in a limited capacity Thursday but looked a bit gimpy while doing so with groin and knee injuries. Swift was also going through position drills but hasn’t been participating in full-contact work the last week.
“Terry’s been banged up a little bit, but we expect him to be able to go and to play,” Smart said. “He’s pushing through. He’s been really tough about it. He has some groin soreness and a slight MCL knee (injury). He’s been able to go.”
As for Swift, Smart said, “We’ll see how he does. He’s been able to do some things but hasn’t been able to do everything. He hasn’t been live tackling. He’s getting a lot of mental reps and things like that. He’s still kind of a game-time decision.”
One player who definitely won’t play Saturday is cornerback Mark Webb. The converted receiver suffered torn cartilage in his right knee in practice on Tuesday and underwent arthroscopic surgery on Thursday. However, he should be available to compete in preseason camp in August, or earlier.
“Mark had a torn meniscus, and he won’t be able to play in the spring game,” Smart said after the Bulldogs’ 14th practice. … We’re expecting a full recovery. He should be back.”
Webb had been moving up the ranks in the secondary and appeared poised to contend for a starting position at cornerback. Instead, the Bulldogs are down to just 10 defensive backs overall. Georgia is also going to be without freshman early enrollee Divaad Wilson, who suffered an ACL tear the first week of spring practice, and safety Jarvis Wilson, who has a sprained foot.
Sophomore William Poole may have to switch back and forth between the Red and Black squads on Saturday in order to preserve competitive balance.
Godwin is the leading returning receiver from last year. He had 639 yards and scored 6 touchdowns, including 1 via a fairly miraculous catch at Notre Dame Stadium.
Swift averaged 7.6 yards a carry and scored 3 touchdowns while playing behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel as a freshman last season. He finished with 618 yards and was also the Bulldogs leading receiver out of the backfield with 17 catches for 153 yards and 1 score.