Mark Richt has now set somewhat of a timetable on the returns of Malcolm Mitchell, Justin Scott-Wesley and Jonathon Rumph. The three injured wideouts will not return for the Tennessee game this week, but the head coach has not ruled out a return for Vanderbilt.
“I’m getting more and more encouraged,” Richt said. “(We’re) not 100 percent sure, but we’re pretty hopeful. I think with all of practice and I think if they practice well enough there’s a good chance they’ll play.”
Mitchell didn’t take part in any work with the team Wednesday, but appeared to be running and moving better, according to Richt. Conditioning will be his biggest issue.
“We’ve tried to get him as much conditioning as we can apart from competing. That’s the big thing,” Richt said. “Even if he comes back, how much can he really do? How long can he sustain excellence in his conditioning? That’s going to be a big key. Will he be ready to just play an entire ball game without having to manage it a little bit? I don’t know if he’ll be able to do that right away, but hopefully he can.”
It’s not a lack of explosiveness Richt is concerned with.
“I bet you he could run a take off right now,” Richt said. “If you knew he could just run by everybody and catch it on a dead run and nobody would touch him I would put him in, but I’m not sure we can do that.”
(Two) Shattle Fenteng (shoulder) is likely done for the year.
“It'll be doubtful that he'll play again this season,” Richt said. “I'm pretty sure he's going to require some surgery on his shoulder.”
For a player Georgia had high hopes for early in the preseason, Fenteng just suffered a shoulder injury he couldn’t rebound from as quickly as the staff had hoped.
“He's a guy who is tall. He's got long arms. He's a good athlete,” Richt said. “He's a guy we thought as he learned what to do could match up with some bigger guys and it just didn't work out for him.”
“Was it a good call? No, if you ask me,” Green said on Wednesday.
The sophomore had strong feelings about not only his ejection, but also the rule in its entirety.
“I’ve been playing football my whole life,” Green said. “They just made this rule to protect players. I understand that, but I led with the shoulder.”
“They’re taking all the fun out of football,” Green said. “Most players like the physicalness of the game and when you take that out you might as well just throw a flag around your waist and prepare to pull somebody.”
(Four) Quincy Mauger left the Troy game early with a shoulder injury, but is expected to play this week.
He’s gotten a little bit of work, according to Richt, but he does anticipate him dressing out against Tennessee.
(Five) Richt and company have played Rocky Top this a little bit this week, even if Tennessee will bring a slightly condensed version of its band to Sanford Stadium.
“I hope our players are getting sick of it,” Richt said.