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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wednesday Practice Notes (10/22)

Tight ends coach John Lilly had two laugh. Two weeks ago, the idea that Bruce Figgins would be the healtiest player he had seemed absurd. After all, Figgins appeared headed for season-ending surgery.

By the end of Wednesday's practice, however, the absurd was reality.

Starting tight end Tripp Chandler is still working his way back from a shoulder injury he suffered last month, and redshirt freshman Aron White sprained his shoulder during Tuesday's practice and may miss Saturday's game against LSU.

"Aron didn't practice (Wednesday)," Figgins said. "His shoulder was bothering him a bit. He's got motion, he's got some strength. We're just kind of holding him, and he'll probably be able to play Saturday."

Head coach Mark Richt wasn't quite as confident, saying White was "week to week" with the injury.

Figgins' shoulder still needs surgery, but he's playing through the injury and said he's prepared for a heavy workload if Chandler and White aren't available for Saturday's game.

"My shoulder's not bothering me, not slowing me down at all," Figgins said. "Coach's not letting me off anything, so I'm feeling good."

Lilly said Chandler could be ready to play Saturday, too, although his status remains "questionable" according to Richt.

"When it's a shoulder and you're a guy that's on the line, I don't know that you can ever say you're 100 percent sure," Lilly said of Chandler, "but we've built our game plan as if he's going to be there."

Figgins said Chandler practiced Tuesday and Wednesday against the scout team, but said coaches haven't allowed him to put much weight on the shoulder.

"He's real anxious to get back out there, getting a lot of treatment, the same stuff I'm doing," Figgins said.

If Chandler and White can't go, Georgia could use fullback Brannan Southerland, who played several snaps at tight end against Tennessee. The other option would be Kiante Tripp, who worked with the tight ends for three weeks after Chandler's injury.

Regardless, the onslaught of shoulder injuries to the tight ends has Figgins wondering if the position might be cursed.

"You don't expect people to go down week by week, but it's all about stepping up, and that's what I'm trying to do," he said.


Tight end isn't the only position getting thin. Linebacker Akeem Hebron suffered a fracture dislocation of his left ankle on the final play of Tuesday's practice and will miss the remainder of the season, Richt said.

"He's got a little bit of surgery to go here," Richt said. "It's probably a four-to-six-month recovery, so that will end his season. It's just kind of a downer when your teammate is hurt, and that's a pretty painful injury."

Hebron joins Jeff Owens, Trinton Sturdivant, Charles White, Vince Vance and Tony Wilson among the Georgia players who are lost for the season with injuries, while dozens more have suffered through bumps and bruises that have cost them playing time. While Richt said he tries not to dwell on the injuries, this year, they've been hard to ignore.

"It's been pretty extreme," Richt said. "You try to not think about it much, but every once in a while, you look up and see all the green jerseys and crutches and you're like, 'My gosh, it's been pretty bad, hasn't it?' And it has. It's been pretty rough."

Following the rash of injuries Tuesday, Richt said Wednesday's practice was a light one as the team prepares for a four-game stretch away from Athens.

"We tempoed down a little bit more than we normally would on a Wednesday mainly to make sure we're as fresh as we could be and make sure we did a good job of teaching everything we want to teach," Richt said.


While the injury list has grown this week, one player making progress has been linebacker Dannell Ellerbe.

Richt said Ellerbe has shown significant improvement in his recovery from a knee injury that cost him the past two games and said the senior will travel to LSU.

"He's making progress," Richt said. "He's going to take the trip and pad up, and we think he'll play."

In Ellerbe's absence, sophomore Darryl Gamble has played well and is likely to see plenty of playing time even if Ellerbe returns to action.

"I'm not going to say who would start," Richt said, "but I think right now Gamble would."


Brett said...

I am praying we have zero injuries against the gaytors

Anonymous said...

Didn't they say they were going to take it easy this week so they would avoid any more injuries.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago, we had player after player out with pulled hamstrings/muscles. Something changed and we do not see as much of that anymore.

Then we lost linemen to shoulder injuries. Alot of injuries. Somthing changed as we do not hear so much about those.

Now we have three tight ends with shoulder injuries. What is going on? Do we need to rethink what they are doing?

The ankle injury could happen at any time, but darn.