Injury Bug Hurting Pro Dawgs

The injury bug has been a frequent visitor to former Georgia Bulldogs in the NFL. While some appear to be recovered, others are having trouble shaking their injuries.

Jets nose tackle Jason Ferguson is the latest Bulldog to go down for the season with an injury. Ferguson tore his right rotator cuff during the first practice and is expected to undergo season-ending surgery today. As a bigtime run stuffer in the middle, Ferguson was expected to anchor the defensive line after signing a $12 millon contract during the offseason.

Another Bulldog in danger of missing the season is Patriots running back Robert Edwards. However, his reason for missing the season could be that he doesn't make the 53-man final roster. Edwards, who is recovered from a devastating knee injury suffered two years ago, is hampered by a groin pull. Robert is running out of time to make an impression and could be hitting the waiver wire soon. Head Coach Bill Belichick said yesterday that Edwards has a less than 50 percent chance of playing this weekend.

"I think Robert is getting better. I think physically he is close to being through his groin injury, but I don't think that he's quite there yet." said Belichick. "The sand in the hourglass is dropping out, and you can't put it back in. [He's] running out of time."

NFL teams are required to trim their rosters to 65 by Tuesday, August 28. The final roster has a 53 player limit.

One player who is close to completing his comeback is 49ers running back Garrison Hearst. The ninth year player rushed for 27 yards on 6 carries during last week's exhibition. Hearst is expected to start on opening day.

Another former Bulldog running back who hopes to start on opening day is Bronco Terrell Davis. He is fighting knee and hamstring injuries but is expected to start this weekend against the Saints. If all goes well, Davis will take part in about half of Denver's offensive plays. Olandis Gary is also in the mix and has recovered well from a season-ending knee injury from last year's opening game. He started at running back in the preseason opener and could start if Terrell isn't healthy.

"I see myself starting Monday night," Davis told the Denver Post Wednesday, referring to the Broncos' regular-season opener. "If something else happens, then I have to deal with that. But right now I'm back on pace and back in the lineup, so I just have to stay there."

Gary is also encouraged about Terrell's health.

"I hope to see some touchdowns, some big gains from him," Gary said. "And I think that's what we will see. I know he has been working hard and rehabbing and stuff. Hopefully, he can achieve all the stuff we want him to."

Raiders left tackle Matt Stinchcomb is back in the starting lineup. He lost his starting job last season due to an injury and also missed his rookie campaign with a shoulder injury.

Falcons tight end Jevaris Johnson is currently rehabbing a knee injury suffered against Georgia Tech last season. Head Coach Dan Reeves conceded recently that he probably won't get a chance to put the pads on. The best case scenario for Johnson is that the Falcons place him on the physically unable to perform list and possibly come back later in the season.

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