November 6, 2006

Injuries bite Dawgs

For their first practice of the week heading into the
Auburn (9-1, 5-1) game, head coach
Mark Richt and the Georgia
Bulldogs (6-4, 3-4) received some good news and some bad news regarding all
of the injuries that have surrounded the team this year.


First the good news, junior guard
Chester Adams
will start at tight guard at Auburn and he will also serve as the backup offensive
tackle because senior
Michael Turner will not be able to play.


"I have to be the backup up tackle in case Dan (Inman)
or Shack (Ken Shackleford) go down, I will have to rotate around," said
Adams. If the Bulldogs go the bench, sophomore Seth Watts will
be the first option and then redshirt freshman Ian Smith. The
second emergency tackle is junior guard Fernando Velasco.


Adams did not make the trip to Kentucky to rest his ankle
and he thinks that is why he will be able to play this week.


"I feel pretty good and I have been doing a lot
of rehab all weekend. I had a little more time to rest and rehab and stay off
my ankle and everything so I think it helped a lot," said Adams of having
extra rest last week.


Freshman
Darius Dewberry returned to
the practice field for the first time in two weeks after straining his hamstring
in the Mississippi State game. Dewberry is the co-number two sam linebacker
with Brandon Miller behind starter Danny Verdun.


Freshman center Kevin Perez made his
first appearance on the practice field since dislocating his elbow several weeks
ago. Perez is still limited, but he may be able to resume contact later in the
week.


Now the bad news, starting split end Demiko Goodman
torn his ACL and is out for the season. Goodman tore the ACL when he collided
with senior tight end
Martrez Milner and a Kentucky defender on a pass playing
in the Kentucky game.


"He got hurt in the second quarter, but he played
in the second half with a lot of energy," Richt said of Goodman's
injury. "It was a shock to us and it was a shock to him. His injury is
a lot of like (Sean) Bailey's, so we'll just have to see, but I would say he
has got a pretty good chance to play next year."



Sean Bailey's similar injury cost
him the entire 2006 season. Goodman is not eligible for a medical redshirt according
to coach Richt, so if he misses the 2007 season, he will only have one year
of eligibility left.


Goodman's injury coupled with the injury to senior
Mario Raley forces
Mohamed Massaquoi back
into a starting role and freshmen
Kris Durham and
Mike Moore into the slot receiver position.


Georgia only has two fully healthy receivers
Durham and Kenneth Harris heading into the Auburn
game according to junior flanker
A.J. Bryant.


"Yeah they are doing pretty good, so don't
jinx them," said Bryant jokingly. "I am glad they are doing ok and
hopefully they will keep hanging in there."


Moore (knee), Massaquoi (hip flexor),
Mikey Henderson
(hamstring), and Bryant (groin/back) have all been battle injuries this season.


Bryant has been bothered by back and groin problems since
fall camp and he has played through his injuries all season.


"I cannot practice that much and if I run a whole
lot my back might start hurting or if run in excess my groin my start hurting,"
said Bryant.


Change of Kickers


Senior punter Gordon Ely-Kelso will handle
the place kicking duties against Auburn this week. Ely-Kelso is the third kicker
Georgia has used this season. Coach Richt informed him during the Kentucky game
after junior Andy Bailey missed his third kick of the game,
that he would make the next kick for Georgia.


"I am just going to try and enjoy it, but it is
a lot of pressure, but it is a different kind of pressure because it has been
such an issue recently. There is pressure in the sense that you want to do well,
but there is also relief that I know I am the fourth best kicker out here so
there is not too much pressure I guess," said Ely-Kelso jokingly of being
named the kicker.


Ely-Kelso has not kicked in a game since he left Clarke
Central high school over four years ago. Injured kicker Brandon Coutu
has been helping Ely-Kelso prepare for the kicker duties. Coach Richt joked
that Ely-Kelso does not kick the prettiest ball, but it goes through the uprights.


"I can't even remember far enough back to
high school and I do not know if I kicked one that looked good back then, but
I know a lot of them went through and hopefully know one will care what it looks
like as long as it goes through the uprights."


Ely-Kelso connected on a 60-yard field goal in practice
and feels he could kick one longer than that if necessary.


"I hit a 60-yarder in practice and I can kick it
long and that has never been my problem it was more about accuracy," said
Ely-Kelso of his range. "Range depends on the situation and if it is the
end of the game I will kick it as far as 65 if I need to."


Redshirt sophomore punter Brian Mimbs
will hold for Ely-Kelso. Mimbs has never played in a game at Georgia.


"I have been holding since this summer knowing that
our holder Lee Jackson graduated last year and Kelso used to hold, but know
that he has to kick it is time to step in and do as good a job as he has been
doing all season," said Mimbs. "I have not stepped on the field
since high school and to get on the field in a big time game is going to be
an experience and I hope I can do my job and let Kelso take care of the rest."


Two Seniors to Start Against Auburn


Senior tight end Martrez Milner will
start against Auburn at tight end following a strong four-catch performance
against Kentucky. "As of right now, I am back with the ones and it feels
great, but I am sure Tripp (Chandler) and I will share the snaps 50-50 like
we did last week," said Milner.


Milner did not start against Kentucky and sophomore Tripp
Chandler and Milner shared most of the tight end duties. Milner is
Georgia's leading receiver this season with 21 catches for 302 yards and
two touchdowns.


Senior defensive tackle Ray Gant is
slated to start for the fourth time this season at defensive tackle and for
the first time since the Mississippi State game. Gant shared a sack with defensive
end Quentin Moses in the Kentucky game.


Southerland banged up


Georgia's leading scorer fullback Brannan
Southerland suffered a neck injury during the Kentucky game, but he
thinks he will be able to play Saturday.


"There is no doubt about it I will be fine I just
need a couple of days off. My neck has some muscles irritated in the traps,
but I will be fine by Saturday," said Southerland.


Captains for Auburn


Junior tailback Kregg Lumpkin, senior
linebacker Tony Taylor, and senior safety Tra Battle
will be the captains for the Auburn game.


Other Notes and Quotes…


"Auburn is having a very good season, and we have
a tremendous amount of respect for their players and coaches," coach Richt
said. "We have got to keep fighting, keep pressing on, keep trying to get
better. I was happy with today's practice. I did not see anyone hanging his
head. I thought our guys showed a lot of focus on getting ready for this game."


Kickoff for the Auburn game is 12:30 pm EST and the game
will be televised on the Lincoln Financial Network.



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