Jarvis Jones not quite certain for Kentucky trip

semerson@macon.comOctober 16, 2012 

ATHENS - Jarvis Jones' status for the Kentucky game appears to have been downgraded a bit.

On Sunday, head coach Mark Richt said he had no doubts that Jones, dealing with a sprained ankle, would be able to go at Kentucky. But on Tuesday, a day after Jones sat out practice, Richt was less sure.

“We’ll see. We’re not counting him out yet," Richt said during his weekly press conference. "He had been running on a treadmill underwater and did extremely well. We figured when we put him on land, he’d hit the ground running literally, but he wasn’t ready to practice. Richt was adamant that they wouldn't hold their best player out to keep him healthy for the Florida game.

"If he’s healthy enough to play, we want him to play. There’s no thought of holding him out this game so that he’s 100 percent next game," Richt said. "I don’t know if anybody’s 100 percent this time of the year when you’re six games in. Just about everybody has something bothering them, but if he gets the okay to go, he’ll play this weekend.”

A few more notes from Richt's weekly press conference:

- At one point, when discussing the struggles on defense, Richt stopped himself to make a larger point.

"I don't want to talk about South Carolina anymore," Richt said. "They beat us. They beat us soundly, and congratulations to 'em. But we've moved forward past that. Now correcting mistakes is important."

And then he got back into talking about communication issues on defense, which I'll address in a story for Wednesday.

- Richt brushed off the idea that too many defensive players are looking towards their NFL futures.

"Not at all. I think everybody wants to win. I think there's a lot of guys that have an NFL future. But I think they know that the better we play as a team, the better that everybody looks," Richt said.

- Aaron Murray said his father, who had surgery for thyroid cancer last week, is doing well, and was back at work on Friday. Richt said he sensed Murray's mind was in a good place now.

"Sometimes you've just gotta take off, and forget about football," Richt said. "And that was one of those times."

- Left tackle Kenarious Gates got a vote of confidence to keep his job through this year - but not necessarily next year. Gates is a junior who has also played some guard this year.

"We think he's our best tackle right now. I mean we don't have any doubt about that. I think he's done a good job," Richt said.

But next year?

"I don't know about that. I would say whoever is the best left tackle for Georgia next season will start at left tackle. So I wouldn't say that Kenarious has it nailed down for the rest of his career."

- Rhett McGown remains the top punt return man, but Malcolm Mitchell is still a factor.

“Rhett (McGowan) and Malcolm (Mitchell) have been getting the work at punt returns, but Rhett is our number one guy right now.”

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