Georgia wrapped up its fall camp period with a second scrimmage in as many weeks on Saturday afternoon. Injuries have been a major storyline over the last few weeks for the Bulldogs but head coach Kirby Smart had some optimistic things to say regarding that situation.
“We don’t have an injury that there’s a guy out for a long amount of time,” said Smart in a virtual press conference on Saturday. “We’re hopeful to get all those guys back, every one of them is day-to-day and some of them can practice now and are practicing now. I expect to be full tilt when Clemson comes… we had more guys healthy today than we did the last scrimmage and we’re in good position there.”
News broke that both defensive back Tykee Smith and tight end Darnell Washington suffered foot injuries in practice this week, according to a statement from Smart. Because both players are projected to be starters and frequent contributors there seemed to be some panic from Georgia fans. It can be justified too, especially considering the talent that Clemson possesses, everyone wants to be at full strength.
However, both players were listed as day-to-day according to Smart and could play against Clemson. Fall camps are usually extremely tough on players as it’s meant to get everyone in shape and ready for the season. With Smart now in his sixth season at Georgia, he now knows when to push players and when to hold back.
“Our model that I have always followed since being here is such that you work hard through camp, take a couple days off after camp, that gives the coaches a chance to re-route, recenter,” said Smart. “The players get a chance to recover, and then you come back and start getting ready for your opponents. That’s what we have always followed. We don’t vary from that protocol very much whether injuries. We got the guys we got and we go play. But injuries are part of our game.”
Football is always going to be physical no matter the circumstances, but some worry about the lack of rhythm that quarterback J.T. Daniels has had with some of the expected star receivers of this year’s Georgia squad. Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson have both missed time this fall, Dominic Blaylock and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint are coming off season-ending injuries last year.
“JT has for the most part had good rhythm with the guys,” said Smart. “You can make excuses all the time, but people get injured in football. You go play with the guys that are out there. They got to throw all summer, so all the guys were out there all summer. Some of the guys were in and out during camp, but I don’t know any team in college football that doesn’t (get injuries).”
If Smart’s expectation for everyone to play in week one comes true, it will be a huge sigh of relief for Bulldog fans everywhere. Now that we are only two weeks away from September 4, Georgia will move on to game-planning for Clemson in what has been one of the most anticipated college football openers in years.
For Smart’s full presser: