(Updated 8:45 p.m.)
As Georgia’s football team resumed preparations Monday for its regular-season finale against Georgia Tech, quarterback Aaron Murray returned to the practice field for the first time since suffering knee and sternum injuries against Auburn.
Coach Mark Richt said on his radio call-in show Monday night that Murray threw the ball “extremely well,” although Richt cautioned that practice conditions are quite different from game conditions for Georgia quarterbacks.
“Aaron is doing well,” Richt said. “He got to practice today. He went through the whole thing. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s ready to play [under game conditions]. But because we don’t hit our quarterbacks in practice, he was able to do everything we asked him to do. I’m not sure how he would have handled getting hit and tackled to the ground and having the full weight of one or two guys land on him. I don’t know how he’d do in that situation right now.
“But he does feel a lot better. He threw the ball extremely well. If he keeps getting better — like he said today, ‘Coach, I got five more days.’ I hope by the end of the week he’ll feel good enough to go.”
The Georgia-Georgia Tech game kicks off at 7:45 p.m. Saturday in Sanford Stadium.
Murray “wants to play, there’s no doubt about that,” Richt said.
The redshirt freshman quarterback suffered a bruised sternum and a bruised knee in the Bulldogs’ Nov. 13 loss at Auburn. He was held out of practice last week, when Georgia had an open date.
“[Murray] looked pretty good,” tailback Washaun Ealey said after Monday’s practice. “He came out a little edgy today, but he got all that worked out. He looked good toward the end of practice. You could tell he was real banged up, but he’s fighting through it. He’s a tough competitor. He knows we’re all counting on him to come through, so he’s out there trying to grind every day to get the job done.”
Ealey added: “I’m pretty sure he’ll play Saturday.”
– AJC correspondent Andy Johnston contributed to this blog.