ATHENS - Georgia receiver Justin Scott-Wesley has returned to practice, after missing the last couple weeks because of injury.
That doesn't mean Scott-Wesley's status for Saturday's game at South Carolina has changed. He is still likely to miss it.
The junior is apparently healthy enough to play, at least judging by the fact he was in a regular jersey at Monday's practice. Scott-Wesley has been out with an ankle injury and continued recovery from last year's knee surgery. Malcolm Mitchell, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen during the media viewing period of Monday's practice, after Mitchell and Scott-Wesley were seen running on the side during a practice last week.
Head coach Mark Richt said Sunday night that Scott-Wesley and Mitchell were both "doubtful" for Saturday's game. Mitchell is because of injury, while Scott-Wesley may be something different.
Last week Richt dodged several questions last week about whether Scott-Wesley will be eligible to play once he's cleared medically. Scott-Wesley is facing at least a one-game suspension after an arrest for marijuana possession last season, which came after his injury. And if he had a previous violation of the policy, making last year's arrest his second one, then Scott-Wesley would be facing a four-game suspension, per UGA's drug policy.
"I always reserve the right to decide when a guy plays," Richt said last Wednesday, the third time he was asked about Scott-Wesley's status.
Before preseason practice began, Richt said of Scott-Wesley: “He’ll practice. I’m not sure when he’ll be able to play a game of football for us. We think it will be this season. He’s moving along but maybe not as quick as some of the others.”
Georgia remains more thin at receiver than it would like to be. Mitchell will need a miraculous recovery in order to play, while senior reserve Jonathan Rumph was also missing from Monday's practice because of a hamstring injury. Senior starter Chris Conley continues to deal with a shoulder injury, but he did play against Clemson and continues to practice.
On the plus side, starting left tackle John Theus was back at practice in a regular jersey after missing some time last week with an ankle injury.
Nose tackle Mike Thornton was asked Monday what came to mind when he thought of Georgia's visit two years ago to South Carolina.
"Sandstorm," Thornton said, immediately.
That, of course, is the 1999 dance song by Darude that is played routinely at Williams-Brice Stadium, and was often in South Carolina's 35-7 rout.
"That's about the only thing that I can say comes to mind," Thornton said. "Because everything else has changed. They've changed guys, and we've changed guys, we've got new coaches, and a whole new defense."