ATHENS -- It’s looking like Isaiah Crowell will be available for Georgia in Saturday’s SEC championship game.
The Bulldogs’ leading rusher, who missed the past game with an ankle injury, did not appear limited in Tuesday’s practice. The coaches are optimistic that the freshman tailback will be ready to go against LSU.
“I think he moved around good,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “I think he’s excited to almost be back to 100 percent healthy. So hopefully that thing will feel 100 percent Saturday. A lot to do with it is how he feels mentally and right now he feels pretty good.”
The outlook isn’t as good for Richard Samuel, who would be the team’s second tailback if healthy. The junior has been out since ankle surgery Nov. 1, missing four games, and the coaches were targeting a return for this week. But Samuel has still yet to practice.
Head coach Mark Richt admitted Tuesday that the ongoing health issues at tailback are “a concern.”
“We’ve found a way so far having to mix and match a little bit,” Richt said. “On paper, you certainly look at their backs and they are pretty stacked, they’re physical and they are more of a known entity than what we’ve got right now.”
Lee ahead of schedule
When starting guard Dallas Lee fractured his fibula against Florida, it was assumed he would be out until at least the bowl game. But the sophomore was back practicing Tuesday, and offensive line coach Will Friend said there was “a chance” he could play against LSU.
“(Tuesday) was really his first day of being able to get some work in,” Friend said. He actually moved around, did some things pretty good. So we’ll see where it goes from here.”
Friend hastened to point out that Lee was only doing scout-team work. Then he laughed when asked how Lee’s health improved so quickly.
“Big ballgame coming up,” he said. “Guys wanna play in big games. Not many SEC championships come around very often.”
Defensive end DeAngelo Tyson missed practice, but his position coach, Rodney Garner, said the senior was probable.
“We’re gonna get Garrison (Smith) ready. And hopefully we’ll get Tyson back,” Garner said.
Tyson hurt his ankle early in the win over Georgia Tech. Garner clarified what happened there: A chop-block was called against Georgia Tech on Tyson’s final play of the game, but Tyson wasn’t the one chop-blocked. Tyson was actually hurt on the previous play and “tried to gut it out” on the next one, Garner said.
Garner said the chop-block penalty was committed against nose tackle John Jenkins. Tyson was hurt on a legal hit.
Georgia isn’t overdoing it in practice this week. The team has gradually reduced the amount of time it tackles in each practice -- from a high of 30 minutes early in the season, to as low as 10 minutes recently.
Richt said Tuesday he didn’t expect to do much at all this week. Tuesday was the only day the players would be in full pads but without much physical play.
“It’s too late in the season, and by now you either know how to tackle, or you don’t,” he said “I think early in the year until you’ve established it and you’re pretty good at it, you got to keep doing it.”
Quote of the day
Garner on the talent LSU head coach Les Miles has on defense: “He’s got 11 first-rounders. Then he’s got 11 backup first-rounders. Then he’s got another 11 third (string) first-rounders.