Notebook: Samuel could be ready for SEC title game

semerson@macon.comNovember 17, 2011 

ATHENS -- If the Georgia football team makes it to the SEC championship game, it could have one of its key offensive players back.

Tailback Richard Samuel could be healthy enough to play, head coach Mark Richt said Wednesday. Samuel has been out since having ankle surgery Nov. 1.

Samuel is the team’s third-leading rusher, with 266 yards, but he had a breakthrough in the Florida game, when he was injured on the final play. Samuel scored the game’s winning touchdown and was the team’s go-to back in the decisive second half.

“(Athletic trainer) Ron (Courson) feels like Richard could have a shot at it,” Richt said. “I think Ron felt that way when it happened, that if we were fortunate enough to get into the game that he’d have a chance at it. And that was when it first happened, and since that time he really feels like he’s on schedule to do well.”

And how good would it be to get Samuel back for the SEC title game?

“It’d be great, if he’s full-speed, ready to go,” Richt said. “If he’s limping around, it won’t be good.”

Dallas Lee, who fractured his fibula against Florida, will not be healed enough to play until a bowl game.

“Dallas has got a shot at the bowl.”

Georgia would clinch the SEC East division title by beating Kentucky on Saturday. The Bulldogs are 29-point favorites over the struggling Wildcats.

Injury updates

Tailback Isaiah Crowell is dealing with a sore knee, which caused him to get treatment and miss the early part of Tuesday’s practice. But Richt said Crowell would play against Kentucky.

Cornerback Jordan Love, who broke his hand before the Auburn game, has a chance to play next week against Georgia Tech.

Practice cut short

Georgia held an abbreviated practice Wednesday. Richt watched Tuesday’s practice and thought the team looked tired. Combined with the weather forecast, which turned out to be wrong, he moved practice inside.

So the Bulldogs had special-teams meetings, and special-teams walk-through, a 30-minute segment meeting of lifting and walk-through. Then they flipped.

“Every time you go 11-on-11 there’s another bump or bruise, so hopefully the bodies will heal up a bit,” Richt said.

Richt was asked if he was worried about messing with the team’s routine, which has been the same all season.

“Not really. It’s just that time of year,” Richt said. “If I was superstitious, maybe.”

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