Gurley and Matthews very doubtful for Vanderbilt

semerson@macon.comOctober 16, 2013 

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BEAU CABELL/ THE TELEGRAPH Athens, Ga., 09/07/2013: Georgia tailback Todd Gurley keeps running after losing his hat to a face mask during first half action with South Carolina.

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ATHENS - The Georgia football team is getting ready to play a third straight game without its star tailback and starting free safety.

Tailback Todd Gurley only did some light work in Wednesday's practice, according to head coach Mark Richt, while other tailbacks continued to get snaps with the first team.

"We're preparing to play without him," Richt said.

Gurley sprained his ankle against LSU and has yet to practice fully since then. On Wednesday he did some light running, trying to change direction and catching some passes. But it was not at a quick enough tempo to give Richt much confidence in his health.

Freshman free safety Tray Matthews is doing even less in practice, and looks set to miss a third straight game because of a hamstring.

"Tray isn't even attempting right now to do any football-specific drills," Richt said. "Todd's at least doing some things that were football-related."

On another note, it appears John Theus will get the start at right tackle, supplanting Kolton Houston in the starting lineup. The two have been alternating the past four games, but Houston has started and gotten slightly more snaps. Houston was beaten on several sacks in Saturday's loss to Missouri, while Theus seemed to play error-free.

"Theus played well. He practiced well last week and played well last year. He deserves a chance to start," Richt said.

Houston has started every game this season, five of them at right tackle and one at left guard. Theus started at right tackle when Houston moved to left guard in the South Carolina game.

For more discussion on Georgia football, and the game at Vanderbilt, please join Seth Emerson's live chat Friday at noon, on the blog.

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