Figgins to Play vs. UT, But Then Not Sure...

ATHENS – He's wearing extra pads and two harnesses, but tight end Bruce Figgins intends to play next Saturday when Georgia returns to action against Tennessee.

Figgins said he has a torn labrum in his left shoulder – an injury he initially suffered in the spring, but severely aggravated against Arizona State two weeks ago. He said the injury will require surgery, but that is an option he's hoping to put off as long as possible.

"We're going to basically see how I feel after the Tennessee game," Figgins said. "I'm doing everything I can to play in this game coming up, watching film, in the weight room, getting treatment."

Figgins said he has no doubt he will play against the Volunteers, a game in which Georgia will be shorthanded at tight end due to a shoulder injury suffered by starter Tripp Chandler last week against Alabama.

Beyond that, however, Figgins doesn't know what the future holds. NCAA rules would allow him to receive a medical redshirt if he does not play beyond the Tennessee game, but that is an option he isn't sure he wants to take.

"I think we have a championship team this year, and I want to be a part of that," Figgins said. "But if I do take the surgery, I do qualify for a redshirt, and there's that route, too."

Figgins said he has most of his range of motion back, despite the protective gear he is wearing. During practice this week, he said he was able to catch nearly every pass thrown to him – including some that required him to reach over his head.

Some blocks he is forced to make cause pain, however, and he said further playing time could cause the injury to worsen.

Head coach Mark Richt said if the medical redshirt was not an option, Figgins would almost certainly try to play out the year, but as it stands, a final decision probably won't be made until the sophomore sees how he holds up in game action.

"If I feel like I'm strong, if I feel like I won't have a problem again, there is a possibility I could go beyond Tennessee," Figgins said. "After Tennessee game, I'll come in Sunday and have the doctors look at it and we'll go from there."

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