Green-less Dawgs Move Forward

ATHENS – For the past eight weeks, wide receiver A.J. Green has been the foundation of Georgia's offense. This week, the Bulldogs will get their first taste of life without their superstar.

Green suffered a bruised lung after taking a hit in the third quarter against Florida last week and will miss Saturday's game against Tennessee Tech. That opens the door for some of Georgia's other receivers to step up, and head coach Mark Richt is hoping they'll make the most of their opportunity.

"Those guys are going to have to make plays, and I'm hoping that they do make plays and gain confidence," Richt said. "In the long run, it may end up being a blessing for us to get some guys with some more opportunities."

Redshirt freshman Tavarres King and true freshman Rantavious Wooten will be Georgia's starters at receiver on Saturday, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said, and fellow freshman Marlon Brown is expected to see an uptick in playing time, too, after seeing little action in Georgia's first eight games.

None of the three have shown an ability to consistently make plays of late, and in the past five games, Green and senior Michael Moore are the only to receivers to have more than two catches in one game.

"You are obviously going to miss a guy like (Green), but I think we have guys like that that can step up and make plays," quarterback Joe Cox said. "Wooten has been getting better every week in practice, making plays showing he should be in some plays in games. We're looking forward to seeing who's going to step up and who's going to fill that spot."

Brown may be the wild card Saturday. He has just two catches this season, both coming against Tennessee on Oct. 10. Brown suffered a hip pointer after that, however, and has been limited during practice for the past two weeks.

He'll get his shot this week, Bobo said, and after a long season on the sideline, the injury to Green may be the opportunity he's been waiting for.

"He has a lot of ability, too, and we definitely want to give him the opportunity to get on the field and make plays," Cox said of Brown. "He's already been on the field this year, but he hasn't had a lot of balls thrown his way. This could be a good week to make a statement about his future."

As for Green, Cox said the sophomore receiver said he felt good Sunday and reported no further problems so far this week. Richt said he expected Green to be ready to return to action next week when Georgia hosts Auburn.

"We're not 100-percent certain but the history of this type of an injury by the second week everybody has played to this point, so we don't have any reason to think that he won't," Richt said.

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