Coach Mark Richt talked more cautiously Tuesday about his availability for Saturday’s game after leaving no doubt two days earlier that Jones would play.
“You know what? We’ll see,” Richt said. “We’ll see. We’re not counting him out yet. He had been running on a treadmill, underwater deal and he had done extremely well and we figured when we put him on land he would just hit the ground running literally. He wasn’t ready to practice.”
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said after practice that Jones is questionable for Saturday.
The redshirt junior has 5 ½ sacks and nine and a half tackles for loss, ranking second in the SEC in those categories. He’s third on the Bulldogs with 36 tackles.
He was held without a sack against Tennessee and had one against South Carolina. He has totaled two tackles for loss combined the past two games.
Richt has said that Jones was playing at less than 100 percent while dealing with a strained groin he sustained before his big game at Missouri on Sept. 8. He sat out the next game against Florida Atlantic game.
Richt indicated that Jones wouldn’t be held out against Kentucky for what looks like a crucial game against Florida next week.
“If he’s healthy enough to play, we want him to play,” Richt said. “There’s no thought of holding him out this game so he’s 100 percent the next game. I don’t know if anybody’s 100 percent this time of the year. You’ve got about six games in. Just about everybody has something bothering them some. If he gets the OK to go from (director of sports medicine Ron Courson) then he’ll play this week.”
Linebacker Amarlo Herrera said “it’s that time of the year, that time of the season where everybody’s hurting, everybody’s got nagging injuries so everybody’s going to work through them and fight through them.”
Gator Haters? Not this week
Georgia players are coming to grips with becoming Florida Gators fans for the week.
“Yeah,” Herrera said shaking his head and laughing. “Something like that.”
The Bulldogs want the Gators to lose to South Carolina to improve Georgia’s chances of winning the SEC East.
“I think everybody has a free pass who is a Georgia fan to root a bit,” quarterback Aaron Murray said. “I’m not saying deck out in Florida gear, but definitely be a little happier if they come out with a victory on Saturday.”
Richt mentioned needing help from the Gators on his radio show Monday night.
“I’ve actually got a little bit of orange in my shirt today,” Richt said. “I don’t have anything that has pure orange but I’ve got one has red and orange stripes. I wore it today in honor of the Florida Gators, but that’s it.”
Host Scott Howard interjected: “I can’t believe you just said that.”
Said Richt: “I’m a Florida fan this weekend, but the reality is we need to focus on this ballgame and focus on getting better.”
Opponents pull rank
A rugged schedule has taken its toll on 1-6 Kentucky
Kentucky is playing its fifth ranked opponent Saturday in its first eight games.
The Wildcats played Louisville when it was No. 25, Florida at No. 14, South Carolina at No. 6 and Mississippi State at No. 20.
Kentucky’s opponents so far are 37-7 this season.
Two computer formulas used in the BCS rankings—Anderson and Hester and the Colley Matrix—rated Kentucky’s schedule No. 1 nationally.
This and that
Richt was answering questions about miscommunication issues that hurt the Bulldogs when he changed course and said: “I don’t want to talk about South Carolina anymore. They beat us. They beat us soundly and congratulations to them, but we’ve moved forward past that.”
Backup tailback Ken Malcome missed practice Tuesday with what Georgia said was an illness. Linebacker Dexter Morant and fullback Dustin Royston also were out with various unrelated illnesses.
Georgia was named most overrated team of the year at the midseason by CBSsports.com’s Bruce Feldman. Eight others picked other teams ranging from Clemson to LSU to Southern California. CBS’ Tony Barnhart threw Georgia in with LSU and Tennessee as “minor disappointments.”
Richt said on his radio show on Monday night that Georgia’s 2013 signing class could have “10, 11, 12” midyear enrollees or “maybe more than that.”
Murray wore a T-shirt to interviews Tuesday that said “Keep Calm We’ve Got Gurshall,” referring to freshmen tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Murray’s mother makes designer T-shirts. “She’s creative,” Murray said. “I’m not the creative one in the family.”