ATHENS - The chances are looking up that Georgia will have its star defensive player for Saturday's showdown with No. 3 Florida.
Jarvis Jones now has a "very good chance" to play, head coach Mark Richt said on Sunday night, a day after Jones sat out Georgia's 29-24 win over Kentucky with a sprained ankle.
"My hope's that he'll be able to practice as early as Monday, is what I hope. Whether or not that happens, I'm not sure," Richt said. "He's definitely making progress, and I think there's a very good chance he'll play. But again, if he's not healthy enough to go then we're not gonna do it. But I think there's a good chance he will."
That was a more upbeat prognosis than Richt gave after the game on Saturday, when he didn't sound as confident.
Never miss a local story.
The prognosis isn't as good for senior defensive end Abry Jones, who is also dealing with an ankle injury He aggravated an ankle injury on the first drive against Kentucky. (Richt that while it was the same left ankle, it was a different kind of injury.)
"Right now, I mean he's out, and we're gonna learn a little bit more (Monday) when he sees some doctors," Richt said. "But right this minute I would say there's a good chance he'll be out."
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham admitted after the game that he had to play nose tackles John Jenkins and Kwame Geathers together more than planned, because of Abry Jones' injury. On Sunday, Richt said the team could get more of a look at sophomore defensive end Ray Drew, and senior Cornelius Washington - normally an edge rusher - could see snaps inside. Jenkins and Geathers will also continue to play at the same time.
"It'll probably be a little of all those things," Richt said.
In addition, freshman punter Collin Barber is good to go, after being helped off the field on Saturday. Barber stayed down for a minute after being run into by a Kentucky player, which led to a critical 5-yard penalty that extended Georgia's drive.
"Collin will be fine," Richt said of Barber.