There has been much dialogue and pontification on the Georgia offensive since the home loss to South Carolina back in overtime on October 12th followed by what many consider an anemic performance in the Kentucky game the following weekend on October 19th in the Bulldogs’ 21-0 win over the Wildcats. Much of the criticism has been directed to the passing game.
The Dawgs lost five of it’s leading receivers from the 2018 team. Three of those… Mecole Hardman, Isaac Nauta, Riley Ridley… declared early for the NFL after their junior seasons and Terry Godwin, who was a senior and had used up his four years of eligibility, also headed to the NFL. Then Jeremiah Holloman was dismissed for an off-the-field incident in June.
To say there were concerns regarding the Georgia receiving corps among fans and media experts was an understatement. The UGA coaching staff bolstered their returning receiving corps with a stellar 2019 signing class which included Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens along with tight ends Ryland Goede and Brett Seither, and two graduate transfers, wide receiver Lawrence Cager and tight end Eli Wolf.
Both Cager and Wolf quickly established themselves in Fall Camp and have been an integral part of the Bulldogs’ offense so far this season. Cager is second on the team in receptions with 19 for 245 yards and 3 touchdowns, only trailing the freshman Pickens who has 23 for 318 yards and 2 touchdowns, but Cager has been dealing with a shoulder injury and then missed part of the South Carolina game and all of the Kentucky game with a rib injury. Since then, either by coincidence or because of his absence, the passing game has struggled; although, the weather definitely played a factor in the Kentucky game.
So, with Florida coming up, will Lawrence Cager be back for Saturday?
On Monday, Kirby Smart said that Cager was expected to be able to practice.
“(Lawrence) Cager is expected to be able to practice today (Monday). To what extent, he was able to run routes and do some stuff Thursday, and thought he looked good doing that,” said Kirby. “So we’re expecting to hopefully get him back, but I won’t know more until we see practice today.”
And during Tuesday’s post-practice press conference, Kirby confirmed that Cager has been practicing this week so far.
”Yeah, (Lawrence) Cager has been out there practicing,” said Smart.
In his post-practice interview, redshirt sophomore cornerback Eric Stokes also confirmed that Cager was back practicing and that the receiver has looked good in practice.
“Oh man! He’s looking basically like his old self,” said Stokes on Tuesday. “(Lawrence) Cager is back to his self. He’s giving you great routes… everything you want in him.”
There is a big ‘ole “but” here, though, as Kirby stated that just because Cager, along with cornerback Tyson Campbell, had been cleared to practice and to play, that doesn’t mean that he or Campbell will be ready to play.
”They’ve (Lawernce Cager and Tyson Campbell) been cleared to play, but we’ve got to find out if they’re ready to play. If they’re practicing, they’re cleared. Cleared doesn’t say, ‘that guy’s ready to play,’ “ said Smart. “And that’ll be determined by how they practice, and what they’re able to do and not do, what kind of shape they are, how much they can sustain. Those are all important factors that we have to factor in to how much they play, and if they’re able to play.”
So as of right now, it is up in the air still as to whether or not the Dawgs will get back Cager for Saturday’s game versus Florida, but it is looking more likely than not. Plus, Cager might have dropped a wee bit of a hint on his Twitter account on Monday…