Injuries taking toll on Dawgs

ATHENS - The Bulldogs may be without defensive tackle Ray Gant, a projected starter coming into camp, for the Sept. 2 season-opener against Western Kentucky.

"It's looking like they don't want me to play the first week, but I'm wanting to come back," Gant said.

The senior has been out for a week due to a partially dislocated shoulder, and he thinks the coaching staff may take the cautious route by holding him out of the first game.

"They'd rather me get hurt against South Carolina (in the second game) than Western Kentucky," he said.

Offensive lineman Zeb McKinzey also appears doubtful for the first game. McKinzey suffered a more severe shoulder injury than Gant and has been out more than a week. He could be back by Aug. 28 but doubts the coaches will think that's enough time to get ready for the first game, he said.

Gant and McKinzey were two of a host of Bulldogs sitting out Friday's scrimmage. Linebacker Brandon Miller was the only surprising addition to that group. Miller suffered a minor groin pull and could be back as early as Monday.

"It's not anything that would affect him for the first game," linebackers coach John Jancek said.

Freshman linebacker Darius Dewberry could be back by Wednesday and should be ready for the first game as well, Jancek said.

Defensive linemen Marquis Elmore (knee) and Kiante Tripp (knee), linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (shoulder), fullback Des Williams (knee) and wide receiver Tony Wilson (shoulder) also did not participate.

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