ATHENS — While not saying yet that Jacob Eason has been cleared to play, Georgia coach Kirby Smart acknowledged that the sophomore quarterback is “much closer to being able to play.”
Eason seemed much more active in practice on Tuesday, able to roll out and run more easily on his injured left knee. Eason has missed three games after spraining a ligament in the season opener.
Right guard Solomon Kindley, who sprained his right ankle last Saturday against Mississippi State, was held out of first-team work on Tuesday. But Smart is optimistic about Kindley, who started two straight games at right guard.
“We think he’s going to be okay. But we just don’t want to put him in there with the 1s right now,” Smart said. “We hope he’ll be all right.”
Smart also said senior cornerback Malkom Parrish was “closer to full throttle.” Parrish missed the first three games after breaking a bone in one of his feet in the preseason, then played in dime packages vs. Mississippi State.
But whether Parrish returns to a starting spot depends on his health as well as his conditioning. Smart said Parrish’s stamina isn’t where it was pre-injury, and the starting cornerback has to stay in the game in all packages.
“He’s working his way back into the rotation to try and figure out where he’s at,” Smart said. “He has to be able to perform. You can’t go four weeks, five weeks or six weeks without practicing and then get back out there and expect to immediately be the same guy. There’s just too much water under the bridge. He’s working his way back. The guy played last week. He’s going to be much closer to the player he was this week.”