ATHENS -- Abry Jones appears to be done for the rest of the regular season, but the senior defensive ends career at Georgia isnt quite over yet.
The Northside product had surgery on his ankle Tuesday, and the current estimate for recovery time is six weeks, according to one of his high school coaches.
That leaves Jones ability to return this season a question mark. He would be able to return for a bowl, but a quick recovery could get him back on the field sooner.
Were looking at six weeks, Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler said. They were able to clean it up pretty good, so he could come back sooner than expected. Right now, its too early to tell.
Kinsler said he had not spoken directly to Jones but had been in touch with his family.
Were hoping that his rehab goes well. Thats probably what its going to amount to, Kinsler said.
Jones injured the ankle on the first drive of Saturdays game at Kentucky. He already was dealing with a sprained ankle, but head coach Mark Richt said after the game that it was a different kind of ankle injury.
Jones has started every game for Georgia the past two seasons. Last year he had four sacks, third on the team, but this year he hasnt recorded a sack. He does have 17 tackles, one tackle for loss and five quarterback hits.
Abry is a very mature guy. He always handles adversity well, said Kinsler, who was the defensive coordinator at Northside when Jones played there. He has good parents that taught him well. Hes got a good personality about it, and hes a hard worker, and I know hes gonna work hard to get back on the field. Obviously as a senior its a hard thing to have happen, especially as well as theyre doing. But were hoping for the best.
Richt declined to say much about Jones, other than he will not play Saturday.
Thats really all Ive been asked to say at this point, Richt said. You might have information at other places, but for me, Ive been asked to say hes not playing this week.
When Jones exited the Kentucky game, it resulted in junior Garrison Smith getting more playing time at end. Smith is virtually guaranteed to start now. The team also has moved John Jenkins from nose tackle to end and played Kwame Geathers at nose.
Another possibility is for senior Cornelius Washington to get more snaps at defensive end. Washington has split his time between end and outside linebacker, but with Jarvis Jones back for the Kentucky game, the team might not need Washington at outside linebacker anymore.
Richt was also adamant that sophomore defensive end Ray Drew could get some snaps, too.
He better be ready because hes gonna play, Richt said of Drew. Hes played some, but theres just been a pecking order, and hes not gotten a lot of snaps. Hes gonna get a bunch of snaps this game.
Eyeing the storm
There is a chance weather could affect the game Saturday, depending on Hurricane Sandy. As of Wednesday evening, the system was projected to send winds of at least 20 mph to the Jacksonville, Fla., area.
That does affect a game more than I just think rain, Richt said. Ive been in some games where the winds just totally changed the game. If its a cross-wind its even probably more of an issue than if its in your face or behind you.