As we near the end of the second week of preseason practice, this is the time when the grind starts to wear on the players and lots of nagging injuries show up. It wasn’t particularly surprising that Thursday’s practice was what Mark Richt deemed the worst so far.
I’m sure it didn’t help the mood at the Woodruff Practice Fields that tailback Caleb King has to sit out a week to 10 days with one of the more serious of the team’s many hamstring problems. It’ll definitely be a setback for King and for the tailback competition overall. About the best spin you can put on it is that at least it wasn’t the back who had the best day in Wednesday’s scrimmage who got hurt.
Now it’ll be up to King to stay patient and committed to getting back on track, and Richard Samuel needs to prepare mentally for possibly being the starting tailback. No fumbles, in other words. And more reps for shifty little Carlton Thomas will pay off in the long run.
Another disheartening development was backup safety Quintin Banks injuring his right knee after missing most of last season with two injuries to his left knee. Fortunately, this one wasn’t as serious, and he’s expected to be out only three weeks. Starter Reshad Jones has been out a week with his own hamstring problem, so that’s not helping. But at least this will mean that hard-hitting redshirt freshman Bacarri Rambo will get more work.
This is the point at which the current team’s much vaunted on-field leadership that we’ve heard about all summer has to step up. As Richt said on Georgiadogs.com, “We’ll see how the leaders handle the adversity of the day and we’ll see how they come back tomorrow.”
Quarterback Joe Cox, reputedly one of the team’s most vocal leaders, said, “it’s already been addressed. We talked about it right after we ran.”
It’s three weeks until Stillwater. One bad day of practice and a few relatively minor injuries shouldn’t prevent the 2009 Dogs from finishing the drill, as the saying goes.