Day 5: Floyd has hand surgery, Harvey-Clemons works at OLB

semerson@macon.comAugust 6, 2013 





ATHENS - The run of hand injuries for Georgia's outside linebackers claimed another victim.

Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd became the third player in two days to require surgery on his hand, after he suffered a fractured left hand during Monday's practice. UGA said Floyd "should" be available for the opener at Clemson on Aug. 31.

If healthy, Floyd has a good chance to play in the opener. The freshman has emerged as one of the early stars of camp among the newcomers.

On Monday, starting outside linebacker James DeLoach and freshman outside linebacker Davin Bellamy needed thumb surgery after injuries sustained during Monday's practice.

Head coach mark Richt said the hope for all three was to return by early next week.

Richt works with the kicker(s)

Richt said in the offseason that he planned to take a bigger role in coaching the kickers and punters. There hadn't been much evidence of that, at least for the media to see, until early in Tuesday's practice.

The four kickers and punters work out separately on the two lower fields, while the rest of the team is on the upper fields. On Tuesday afternoon, Richt walked over to the gate that surrounds the upper field and called for kicker Adam Erickson, giving him some instruction. Richt then walked away and Erickson and the other kickers went about their business.

The status of starting kicker Marshall Morgan is still yet to be announced - he was arrested for boating under the influence in July - and Richt was coy about the situation on Tuesday.

"If you ask me at halftime of the first game, I'll let you all know," Richt said.

He did not elaborate.

"I'm just saying that you'll know whether he's in the first game or not by then. You won't have to ask by then," Richt said.

The Bulldogs had a special-teams practice earlier in the day.

Harvey-Clemons works with linebackers

There was another interesting sight during the early portion of the afternoon practice: Josh Harvey-Clemons was with the outside linebackers, not the safeties. The sophomore is expected to play the star position, a hybrid of safety and linebacker, when he returns from his one-game suspension. It was partly in preparation for that, Richt confirmed after practice, indicating that Harvey-Clemons was getting working on how he'll try to fend off tight ends.

Richt said part of it was also because so many Sam (outside) linebackers were out, calling it a "quick fix."

Harvey-Clemons was recruited to Georgia as an outside linebacker, then switched to safety upon his arrival last year. He is listed as the first-team strong safety.

A lengthy injury list

The latter practice on Tuesday was without pads, and was also without many players.

There were 17 players on the injury list, all of them scholarship players, and all but two of them were held out of practice. Freshman safety Tray Matthews (shoulder sprain) and freshman cornerback Shaq Wiggins (groin strain) were the only two who practiced through their injuries.

Two of the injuries are previously-announced season-ending injuries: Freshman cornerback Reggie Wilkerson (knee) and freshman safety Paris Bostick (turf toe). Three more were the outside linebackers with hand surgeries.

"You know of anything significant enough to have a surgery. Everything else is a matter of days," Richt said.

That includes guard Watts Dantzler (lower leg contusion), nose tackle Chris Mayes (concussion), guard Greg Pyke (sprained ankle), tight end Jay Rome (sprained ankle), receiver Blake Tibbs (sprained shoulder), linebacker Chase Vasser (sprained ankle) and receiver Rantavious Wooten (hamstring strain).

Free safety Tray Matthews was in a regular white defensive jersey on Tuesday, after spending the past two days in a green non-contact jersey because of a shoulder sprain.

This was a non-pads practice, so it's possible the coaches would have put Matthews in a protected jersey if there were going to be contact. But for what it's worth, numerous other injured players (including Shaq Wiggins and Quincy Mauger) were sitting out practice altogether.

It's official: GameDay to Clemson

ESPN finally made official what was quite apparent for awhile: Its marquee Saturday pregame show will originate from Clemson on Aug. 31, when Georgia visits for the season opener.

Former Georgia star David Pollack, the ESPN commentator who appears on GameDay, said in the spring he expected the show to be at Georgia-Clemson.

The Bulldogs haven't had a great history with GameDay, with a 3-11 record in featured games. Their only two losses last year were on GameDay, including the SEC championship and the 35-7 loss at South Carolina.

Some video from Monday's practice:


Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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