ATHENS — Georgia’s injury bug extended beyond Jacob Eason on Saturday, with one projected starter not able to go and another one going down early in the game.
Cornerback Aaron Davis left the game Saturday with an ongoing hamstring injury. Guard Solomon Kindley was held back with an ankle problem.
Davis, a three-year starter in the secondary, had moved to left cornerback to replace two-year starter Malkom Parrish, who went down with a foot injury three weeks ago. But Davis was dealing with a hamstring injury this week, and though he started Saturday, he came out in the first half and didn’t return.
“It’s been bothering him, and it’s been tough all week, to be honest with you,” coach Kirby Smart said. “It’s been a frustrating week in the secondary because we’ve had a lot of guys dinged up. And Aaron is one of those guys; he tried to go. I think he’ll be well in the near future.”
Parrish was seen on the sideline in a walking boot and crutches, so it will take a quick recovery to be able to play next week at Notre Dame.
When Davis left the game, sophomore Tyrique McGhee replaced him, seeing his most extensive playing time at Georgia. Sophomore J.R. Reed was at nickelback, and freshman Richard LeCounte was at safety in Georgia’s nickel defense.
Smart said he thought the secondary “made some mistakes” without Parrish and Davis, but also thought it played hard and physical.
“We’ve got a lot of improving to do in that area. And we’ve got to have more players that can play. We can’t make it through the year with four or five DBs. We’ve got to have seven or eight. And that’s just not where we are right now,” Smart said.
Then there was the offensive line. Kindley, a redshirt freshman, had worked at first-team right guard since spring practice and seemed fairly entrenched. But his ankle injury resulted in senior Dyshon Sims getting the start there, with junior Kendall Baker coming in, too.
Kindley has been dealing with the ankle injury “for a while,” according to Smart, who indicated it was more nagging than anything else.
“He probably could have played. But we didn’t know if he could have played his best,” Smart said. “Then it got to the point of the game where we didn’t feel like it was worth risking it even further, and give him some recovery and some rest.”
Kindley played on special teams, lining up on the place-kicking unit. But he did not get any offensive snaps.