ATHENS - It's still uncertain whether Justin Scott-Wesley will be healthy enough to play for Georgia next week at South Carolina. And it's also not certain whether he'll be eligible.
Scott-Wesley has been missing from practice the past week-and-a-half because of a recent ankle injury. That comes after Scott-Wesley continued to work his way back from ACL surgery last October.
But the junior receiver was also expected to be serve a one-game suspension for a marijuana arrest, which came a few weeks after his knee injury. UGA policy dictates that a player must serve his suspension once he's cleared to play, rather than serve it during an injury.
Head coach Mark Richt, asked several times Wednesday to clarify Scott-Wesley's status, opted not to clear it up.
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First, he was asked if Scott-Wesley would be immediately eligible once he gets healthy.
"When he's ready to play, when I think he's ready that's when he'll play," Richt said.
Then Richt was asked directly if Scott-Wesley has served the suspension for last year's marijuana arrest.
"I'll say this: When I think he deserves to play I'll let him play, when he's ready," Richt said.
Finally, Richt was asked if he had coaches' discretion to play a player after a suspension.
"Yeah I always reserve the right to decide when a guy plays," Richt said.
A first violation of UGA's drug code brings a one-game suspension for football players. A second one brings a four-game suspension, though Scott-Wesley does not have any other known violations.
Conley says shoulder doesn't limit him
Senior receiver Chris Conley did play on Saturday with a shoulder injury. He has continued to practice in a non-contact jersey, but said the shoulder didn't bother him in the game, when he was held to two catches.
"I could still run, I could still catch the ball and block," Conley said. "At moments it does bother me, and it's a process. It's a day-by-day thing that they in the training room are checking out. But it's not limiting my practice in any way. They just want to be careful."
Conley said he couldn't remember exactly when he injured the shoulder. But Conley - well-known for his direction of a Star Wars-related short film - confirmed that it did not come via a light saber attack.
"I don't think that would be repairable," Conley said.
Other injury updates
Junior receiver Malcolm Mitchell did not run during Wednesday's practice, after doing so the day before. Mitchell had run on land three days in a row, so the training staff had him run in water on Wednesday, but he's expected to return to regular running on Thursday. Then he may ease into some football-related activities.
"He'll get back on land again (Thursday) and maybe try to run some routes without a ball being thrown at him and all that," Richt said. "Just get a taste of doing a little bit of that. Just see how he progresses. I'd just say he's day-to-day right now."
Left tackle John Theus sat out Wednesday's practice with a sprained ankle, according to Richt. But Theus, who was riding a bike on the side on Wednesday, is expected back for Monday's practice.
The 'mirage' of hype
Richt continues to get questions about the increased expectations for his team after the win over Clemson, and on Wednesday he had another way of trying to downplay it.
"It's only Week 1," Richt said. "It's like a mirage, it's not real. It's just something to talk about."
Georgia is ranked No. 6 in the AP poll and No. 8 in the USA Today coaches poll. But several very, very early playoff projections, based on just the first week, have put Georgia No. 1 or No. 2.