September 5, 2012

Injuries healing up?



Although it remains to be seen if cornerback Malcolm Mitchell will play Saturday night at Missouri, he will be making the trip.

Head coach Mark Richt confirmed that for a fact following practice Wednesday after the Valdosta sophomore continues to show improvement from the sprained ankle he suffered Thursday of last week.

"Oh yeah, he's going," Richt said. "Coach Grantham might be mad, but yeah, he's going. He (Grantham) might be mad that I'm saying it, not that he's coming."

On Tuesday, Grantham told reporters that unless league rules dictate it, teams should not be obligated to reveal what players - injured or suspended - will be available for games.

Richt, however, sounded cautiously optimistic about Mitchell's availability.

"He did pretty good. I'm encouraged," Richt said. "I'm not certain that he's full speed, but it's Wednesday and I'm encouraged. We've got a couple more days to go yet. We'll see."

Malcolm may have some company on the team plane.

Injured offensive linemen John Theus (ankle) and Watts Dantzler (ankle) both worked out with trainers during the early part of Wednesday's session.

Theus appeared to be moving without any trouble, while Dantzler still appeared to have a slight limp.

"We hope so, we're not 100 percent," Richt said when asked if both Theus and Dantzler would travel. "If we don't think they can play or help they won't. If we left today I'm not sure if we'd have both of them. I'm not sure that we would or we wouldn't, but we've got a couple of more days yet. We're hoping they are."

• Richt had nothing new to say on possible suspensions, but did say everybody who travels to Missouri will play.

Ward improving, but could he start?

Richt said redshirt freshman offensive tackle Xzavier Ward has continues to show improvement, but stopped short of saying he would get the nod ahead of Theus if the former Bolles standout is not able to play due to his sprained ankle.

"I don't know, we're mixing and matching, trying to find some answers," Richt said. "That's one of the possibilities. We've got (Austin) Long and (Mark) Beard; we're working those guys both."

But even if he doesn't, Richt said Ward's improvement since coming off ACL surgery has been a pleasant surprise.

"It's a physical issue coming off of his ACL injury. You can tell that it's bothering him and he's not full speed, but when the ball is snapped he'd go and he seems to be progressing. I don't know if he's hardly missed a rep the entire camp so that's very encouraging. The other thing that's very good about him is I like the length of his arm, his height and he seems to be a very conscientious guy, but I don't know if he's ready to be the guy in a game like this, however."

Lindley to kick off?

Although freshman Marshall Morgan impressed with his kickoffs last Saturday against Buffalo, Richt conceded he might be willing to give Savannah native Jamie Lindley a shot.

In his only attempt Saturday, Lindley proved just how strong his right leg is, giving Richt pause to consider giving the senior more opportunities.

"Marshall kicked off well, but Jamie had the last kick and he drove it right out of the end zone, so he impressed," Richt said. "I wouldn't count out Jamie for having an opportunity to kick somewhere along the way. We don't have a rotation or anything set, but he's impressed, he's kicked well."

Film proves Washington wrong

Defensive end Cornelius Washington said Wednesday he wasn't looking forward to getting into the film room with position coach Rodney Garner following his performance against Buffalo.

"I actually thought I played pretty badly, to be honest with you," Washington said. "But looking at the film, I didn't do as badly as I thought I did. I actually made a few plays that maybe I wasn't supposed to make."

For example?

"There was this one play, they were doing an option thing and I played the right responsibility even when I really didn't know what I was supposed to be doing," said Washington, who added he graded out at 81 percent. "I was expecting to get royally cursed out, but it wasn't bad at all. The first game and me being so worried about it, there were really only two plays that I saw on film that I did absolutely horrible in."

This and that

Wide receiver Marlon Brown said he's "100 percent" after missing last week's game with a sore hamstring. … Besides Theus, Mitchell and Dantzler, Georgia's post-game injury report Wednesday consisted of wide receiver Taylor Bradberry (right thumb sprain, out), Hunter Long (left foot fracture, out), offensive lineman Ben Reynolds (concussion, out) and tight end Cole Trolinger (concussion, out).