ATHENS ― Georgia got back to the practice field on Friday, and as it gets its home-based Rose Bowl preparation in this week, the word on the injury front appears to be the same.
The Bulldogs are in pretty good shape.
Coach Kirby Smart said several players who were injured during or just before the SEC Championship Game are “bouncing back.” They include:
- Senior tailback Sony Michel has shown no long-term effects from the left knee injury he sustained in the SEC Championship Game. Smart put it this way: “Sony has done a good job of pushing through.” Michel enters the playoffs with 948 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns this season, and he is averaging 7.2 yards per carry. He is the third-leading rusher in Georgia history, trailing only Herschel Walker and teammate Nick Chubb.
- Senior cornerback Malkom Parrish suited up for the SEC Championship Game but did not play because of what was described as a “lower extremity” injury. Parrish has not practiced extensively, Smart said, but has been able to do some. The senior was a starter in Georgia’s nickel formation.
- Senior nose tackle John Atkins left the SEC Championship Game with an injury to a big toe but returned to the game. Atkins has been practicing but has seen his reps limited out of precaution. Atkins, speaking to the media on Monday, said he was pretty much “back to normal.”
Not mentioned was senior fullback Christian Payne, who missed the conference title game after sustaining an undisclosed injury the week before at Georgia Tech. But Payne’s injury was not believed to be a long-term one, either.
While there have been some isolated multigame injuries this season, Georgia remains in remarkably good shape as it heads into the College Football Playoff. The only members of the two-deep to miss the SEC Championship Game were Parrish and Payne.