Dawgs get going in pads

ATHENS – After its first day of full-contact practice this year, Georgia's football team looked a little rough around the edges.

The Bulldogs practiced full speed in a two-hour morning workout. By the afternoon's session, the field was ringed with players nursing mostly minor injuries.

"It's not that bad," Coach Mark Richt said. "You don't want anybody to miss any practice at all, but you're going to have those kind of things. If you start having those season-ending things, that's cause for more concern, but football is physical. There are going to be some guys banged up."

Junior offensive guard Chester Adams, the most urgent of the cases due to the lack of depth along the offensive line, suffered a hip pointer midway through the morning practice but is expected to be back in time for Saturday's scrimmage, he said.

Sophomore Seth Watts will take Adams' place with the first team until Adams returns. Watts, who played sparingly last year, thinks the short-term promotion will help his development.

"Not just working on the first-team but the guys I would be working with. They know tons more than I do," he said. "Hopefully, some of that will rub off on me."

Defensive tackle Ray Gant, a projected starter, suffered a partial dislocation of his right shoulder and was in a sling. He was scheduled to consult a team doctor Thursday evening and could miss more than a week. Guard Zeb McKinzey remains out with the same injury as Gant.

"You never know on the shoulders, but Ray has had a history of that, and he usually comes back relatively soon," Richt said. "With Zeb, we've just got to see how he responds, but he is beginning to feel better."

Senior defensive tackle Marquis Elmore will miss two-to-three weeks due to arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, he said.

Fullback Brannan Southerland suffered a slight ankle sprain in the morning and sat out in the afternoon. Defensive end Marcus Howard (arm) has been out since practice started but could return to limited action today, Richt said.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford experienced numbness in his hand that forced him out of some pre-practice drills, but he returned for all of the main practice work and felt fine afterward, he said.

"That was weird," he said. "I don't know what it was, this whole side of my hand went numb. I think I just wasn't warm yet."

Defensive tackle Ricardo Crawford missed his second straight day due to a family illness. He is expected back at practice today.


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