Georgia’s open date comes at a good time for quarterback Aaron Murray.
Murray might miss some practice time this week because of knee and chest injuries but is expected to play in the Bulldogs’ next game Nov. 27 against Georgia Tech, coach Mark Richt told the Touchdown Club of Atlanta on Monday.
“He’s beat up pretty good, actually,” Richt said in a speaking engagement that was streamed on the Internet.
Richt said “luckily there is no structural damage” to Murray’s left knee, which took a shot from Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s helmet late in Saturday’s game.
“It was more just a blow to the knee, to the bone, and it’s bruised up pretty good,” Richt said. “I think he’s going to be fine.”
Richt said Murray also suffered “a pretty deep bruise in his chest” against Auburn.
Officially, Georgia director of sports medicine Ron Courson lists Murray as “day-to-day” with knee and sternum bruises.
Georgia will hold its first practice of the week Tuesday, and Richt was uncertain whether Murray will participate.
“We’ll see how he handles it, if he’s able to throw the ball,” Richt said. “We think by game time he’ll be able to play, but right now practice is day-to-day.”
UPDATE: Asked about Murray’s status on his radio call-in show Monday night, Richt put it this way: “There is no guarantee he will play in the game, but we’re thinking there’s a good chance he will.” Richt said the bruised sternum “is probably bothering [Murray] the most right now.”
Both Saturday night and Sunday, Richt declined to comment about Fairley’s hits on Murray in Auburn’s 49-31 victory. But the coach did make a fleeting reference to the issue in his remarks to the Touchdown Club.
“I thought offensively we blocked No. 90 [Fairley] pretty good most of the game,” Richt said. “There were some times he did get free. Sometimes he got free a little bit late, but he did get free.”
Murray, a redshirt freshman, has 2,580 yards passing this season — the third most all-time for an SEC freshman. He has thrown 21 touchdown passes and six interceptions — “a tremendous ratio for any quarterback, even if you’re a veteran,” Richt said.
Georgia’s A.J. Green was named Monday as one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to college football’s top receiver each year. The field will be reduced to three finalists on Nov. 22 and the winner named on Dec. 9.
Green has 41 catches for 674 yards and nine touchdowns this season despite missing the first four games while on NCAA suspension for selling his Independence Bowl jersey for $1,000. He had nine catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns against Auburn.