10 18 2004 Notebook

ATHENS — A.J. Bryant might be the most anxious Georgia football player these days.

The freshman receiver from Peach County is on crutches, for the first time in his life, as he tries to recuperate from a plantar fascitis, which is also known as an injured tendon in his right foot.

Monday, he looked ready to heave the crutches.

"I'm about to die, man," he said.

So is not being on the practice field for at least another day or two, particularly aggravating since Bryant's playing time is increasing.

"I was in the rotation, got a catch, and got hurt," he said. "I was in the rotation pretty good."

His status will be reevaluated later this week, so he's questionable for the Arkansas game until further notice.

"It could be a week, it could be longer," Bryant said. "(Trainers) said it depends on the individual. I could play, but they don't know."

It's an odd injury, one that may have been helped when it popped in the Vanderbilt game. Bryant said he had a pinching feeling before the injury completely surfaced Saturday.

"I was just running and felt this 'pop,' he said. "It's crazy, man."

Rest and rehabilitation - "I've just been picking up marbles with my toes," he said - are on tap for Bryant. Surgery would repair it immediately, but that would also sideline Bryant for a long time. It may be fixed after the season.

For now, he's simply adjusting - quite unhappily - to the crutches.

"Yeah, man; my hands are about to fall off," he said with a smile. "I don't like this crap."

HONORS: Junior guard Max Jean-Gilles was named the SEC offensive lineman of the for his afternoon against Vanderbilt in the 33-3 win.

He graded out at 88 percent and had five "dominator" blocks as the Bulldogs had 100-yard rushing games from freshmen Danny Ware (127 yards) and Thomas Brown (122 yards).

Jean-Gilles and his line colleagues allowed no sacks in 26 Georgia pass attempts.

NO JONES?: The status of Arkansas quarterback Matt Jones is questionable, but that's expected to change, or at least be firmed up, by the middle of the week.

The senior suffered a pulled groin on the first play of Saturday's 38-10 loss to Auburn, but continued to play.

Sunday morning was a painful one, and Jones is now playing the waiting game

"It feels better today," he said. "I don't know. "We're still trying to do everything we can. I think we'll know a lot more Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully we can make progress."

Jones still managed to rush for 54 yards, tying him with former Mississippi State quarterback John Bond for the most rushing yards by a QB in SEC history, each with 2,280. Bond played in the early 1980s.

He's 15th in total offense in the SEC with 7,343 yards, trailing Vandy's Greg Zolman (7,696) for 14th.

AROUND THE DAWGHOUSE: Arkansas is a second-half team, and really a fourth-quarter group. The Razorbacks have outscored opponents 52-7 in the final 15 minutes.

But in the last three games, Arkansas has scored only seven points in the first quarter.

This weekend will be the first air travel for some younger Bulldogs. Or second time, as is the case for freshman offensive lineman Chester Adams.

And Jean-Gilles, no fan of air travel himself, is worried.

"He flew over here, but that's a year ago," Jean-Gilles said of the freshman offensive tackle from Alabama. "It's gonna be fun. He hasn't been on a plane since."

Georgia will go 42 days between home games.

This is the first meeting between the Hogs and Dogs since the 2002 SEC Championship game, won easily by Georgia 30-3. ...

Georgia will likely return to a three-man tackle rotation as some starters are back healthy.

Tackle Dennis Roland and guard Nick Jones have ankle injures but are expected to return. The Bulldog line with Fernando Velasco and Ken Shackleford played well against Vandy.

Saturday is Arkansas' homecoming.

Quotable: "I'll tell you what's great, is they can just stay right there in their home state and get 95 percent of the players." Nutt on Georgia's talent and recruiting base.

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