(Updated 3:50 p.m.)
ATHENS – Georgia’s football team held its first full-pads practice of preseason camp today, minus a half-dozen injured or ill players.
Among the injured: defensive ends Abry Jones, out with a left knee contusion, and Ray Drew, sidelined by a concussion.
Georgia disclosed the injuries as part of a new policy of providing reporters covering practice a daily, written “injury-illness report” from director of sports medicine Ron Courson. Today’s report provided no indication how long Jones and Drew will be sidelined from practice, nor any further detail on their injuries.
Coach Mark Richt, who in the past has tended to answer reporters’ questions about injuries after practices, sometimes with incomplete information, said the new policy was decided upon in the off-season.
“It wasn’t my idea, it wasn’t my brainstorm, but I’m part of the team,” Richt said. “I think it’s just to give you guys exactly what we want to give you [regarding injuries], and if you ask me a question about it, I’ll say, ‘Just read the report.’ And that’ll kind of be the way we go. But if you want to ask me about how does that affect the depth chart or something like that, [fine].
“I think, in football, injury reports are important; people want to know about what’s going on. But then you’ve got family members that we want to consider when we throw stuff out there.”
Also missing today’s practice: offensive lineman Chris Burnette (illness), safety Marc Deas (right hamstring strain), walk-on tight end Hugh Williams (third metacarpal fracture on left hand) and walk-on receiver Curtis Wyatt (illness).
According to the injury-illness report: Burnette is probable to return to practice Tuesday; Deas’ status is day-to-day; Williams will miss 10 to 14 days of practice after having out-patient surgery today at St. Mary’s Hospital; and Wyatt is probable to return to practice Wednesday.
Richt acknowledged that Drew, a sophomore who moved from linebacker to defensive end in the spring, is missing needed practice time.
“He needs reps, no doubt,” Richt said. “Even the veterans, they need a certain amount of reps to get to where they’re sharp.”
On the Bulldogs’ latest depth chart, Jones and Cornelius Washington are the starting defensive ends and Drew a second-teamer. To have two players, Jones and Drew, miss practice time at the same position compounds the effect, Richt said.
“Once a guy or two starts to miss practice, it usually takes a little bit more of a toll on that position group,” Richt said. “We’ve got some good quality depth, but it’s not like it’s unlimited in that area. As a matter of fact, in the 105[-player preseason roster], there’s a lot more offensive players than defensive players. Our scholarships guys are about equal, but the majority of the walk-ons are offense.”
Georgia will practice twice Tuesday. Two-a-day practices have become increasingly rare in college football; the Bulldogs have just one other two-practice day scheduled this preseason. . . . Tuesday’s first practice will focus on the kicking game. So far, Richt said, he has seen what he expected from freshman placekicker Marshall Morgan and freshman punter Collin Barber. . . . Freshman tailback Todd Gurley “is picking things up really fast,” according to senior wide receiver Tavarres King. . . . Richt told Richard Samuel “we need you to be ready” to play either tailback or fullback. “I told him continuing to get reps at tailback wouldn’t keep him from being a starting fullback,” Richt said. . . . The player making “the most direct hits” in Monday’s practice, Richt said, was linebacker Alec Ogletree. . . . Quarterback Aaron Murray said the offensive line “has looked great the first five days” and “definitely has picked up where [it] left off this spring.”