A hamstring injury has sidelined King since Aug. 12, and while coaches remained hopeful last week that he might return in time to make the trip, the injury has been slow to heal.
Richt said he watched King jogging at practice Wednesday and thought he looked better, which gave him some hope that the tailback would at least be able to return in time for the South Carolina game.
"He was running at least three-quarters speed," Richt said. "I would think he'll be ready for that game."
It's a far cry from how the preseason began, with five players fighting for carries. Both Dontavius Jackson and freshman Washaun Ealey will make the trip to Stillwater, Richt said, but neither is expected to see much action. Walk-on Kalvin Daniels will be Georgia's No. 3 tailback for the game, and fullback Fred Munzenmaier is also available for duty should he be needed.
"That's pretty surprising," Cox said of the shallow roster of running backs, "but I think they tried to find the guys that were the most consistent, and I think we have two good ones that know what's going on and are going to do fine with our plan."
NO TRIP FOR TRIPP
Junior defensive end Kiante Tripp is another veteran who will miss the Oklahoma State game due to injury.
Tripp suffered what Richt described as a "stinger" that has been slow to heal, costing the converted offensive lineman a shot at his first action of his career on the defensive side of the football.
We don't think it's anything real serious, but sometimes it's like a hamstring – it just lasts longer," Richt said. "It's one of those things."
The loss is particularly problematic at a position in which Georgia lacks experienced depth. Demarcus Dobbs and Rod Battle will start Saturday, but with sophomore Justin Houston suspended for the first two games, the Bulldogs do not have another defensive end on the roster with playing experience at the position.
Senior Marcus Washington, who moved from linebacker last month, and redshirt freshman Cornelius Washington will be the top two players off the bench, Richt said, and freshman Montez Robinson will be ready to go if called upon.
"I think we're well prepared," Marcus Washington said of the group. "It's been a long grind ever since camp started. Guys are learning, pushing, fighting trying to get right. We're all fighting hard trying to make sure we get it done."