At TE Even Finding Bodies Hard Now

ATHENS – Tight ends coach John Lilly had to laugh. Two weeks ago, the idea that Bruce Figgins would be the healtiest player he had seemed absurd. After all, Figgins appeared headed for season-ending surgery.

By the end of Wednesday's practice, however, the absurd was reality.

Starting tight end Tripp Chandler is still working his way back from a shoulder injury he suffered last month, and redshirt freshman Aron White sprained his shoulder during Tuesday's practice and may miss Saturday's game against LSU.

"Aron didn't practice (Wednesday)," Figgins said. "His shoulder was bothering him a bit. He's got motion, he's got some strength. We're just kind of holding him, and he'll probably be able to play Saturday."

Head coach Mark Richt wasn't quite as confident, saying White was "week to week" with the injury.

Figgins' shoulder still needs surgery, but he's playing through the injury and said he's prepared for a heavy workload if Chandler and White aren't available for Saturday's game.

"My shoulder's not bothering me, not slowing me down at all," Figgins said. "Coach's not letting me off anything, so I'm feeling good."

Lilly said Chandler could be ready to play Saturday, too, although his status remains "questionable" according to Richt.

"When it's a shoulder and you're a guy that's on the line, I don't know that you can ever say you're 100 percent sure," Lilly said of Chandler, "but we've built our game plan as if he's going to be there."

Figgins said Chandler practiced Tuesday and Wednesday against the scout team, but said coaches haven't allowed him to put much weight on the shoulder.

"He's real anxious to get back out there, getting a lot of treatment, the same stuff I'm doing," Figgins said.

If Chandler and White can't go, Georgia could use fullback Brannan Southerland, who played several snaps at tight end against Tennessee. The other option would be Kiante Tripp, who worked with the tight ends for three weeks after Chandler's injury.

Regardless, the onslaught of shoulder injuries to the tight ends has Figgins wondering if the position might be cursed.

"You don't expect people to go down week by week, but it's all about stepping up, and that's what I'm trying to do," he said.

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