ATHENS — Nick Chubb continued his march toward starting in Georgia’s opener, but the jury is still out on last year’s starting tailback.
Coach Kirby Smart called Sony Michel’s participation in 7-on-7 drills at Saturday’s scrimmage “an upgrade.” But last year’s 1,100-yard rusher still isn’t getting any contact is mostly relegated to running and conditioning on the side.
“It’s one of the deals that it’s a medical decision right now,” Smart said. “They’re trying to decide when it’s safe for him to go back and go do things.”
Michel broke two bones in his left arm — one of them an open fracture — when he wrecked on an all-terrain vehicle on July 3 outside of Atlanta. At the time, doctors predicted he would be looking at a six- to eight-week recovery period. It will have been eight weeks when the Bulldogs line up to play North Carolina on Sept. 3 in the Georgia Dome.
That’s exactly two weeks from Saturday as the Bulldogs conducted a two-hour, weather-interrupted scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. Michel was dressed out in full pads but wearing a black jersey, which signals not permitted to have contact.
Georgia will have to make a decision on Michel’s availability soon.
“There probably is a date where … we need to know something by,” Smart said. “But it’s not like Sony hasn’t played football. The biggest thing with him is going to be ball security.”
In the meantime, Chubb continues get most of the snaps with the No. 1 offense and is looking extremely good in doing so. Chubb is coming off a knee injury from last October that left three him with three torn ligaments. But he has practiced without limitations since Week 1 of preseason camp.
“He’s doing a good job,” Smart said. “Nick’s a workhorse. He works hard at it. It was wet out there. It’s tough to have a lot of speed and burst out there in that environment. But a lot of times it’s not the fastest guy it’s the guy that can stay on balance and body control.”
Other than Chubb, freshman Brian Herrien and senior Brendan Douglas apparently got most of the work during Saturday’s scrimmage. Fellow freshman Elijah Holyfield had been getting the most of the backup work previously.