Rome Looking for Solid Return

During a season in which Georgia lost several marquee skill position players to season-ending ACL injuries, TE Jay Rome saw his season cut short by a right foot injury that required surgery.

He missed the final four games of the season and spring practices as well, but has returned this preseason to a position that certainly could use him at top form.

“I’m just trying to get back to putting pressure on it and being able to run around and working out the soreness of not being on my foot for about seven or eight months,” Rome said after Saturday’s second preseason practice.

The Georgia staff is letting him come out of drills if need be and catch a breather and stretch his foot out, Rome said. He said he still favors the foot on certain routes, but has done more than he thought he would so far.

“I’ve basically been working in and doing what I feel comfortable doing,” he said. “I’m getting a lot better. I can see a whole bunch of improvement. Still a little rusty, a little shaky on a few different things but it’s just some stuff that I’m going to have to work through and just keep getting better every day and just monitor.” Rome tore the Lisfranc ligament in his foot against Appalachian State on Nov. 9. It wasn’t until about a week later, he said, that he realized it would be a relatively long recovery.

After surgery in December, the 6-foot-6 Rome said his weight got up to 265 pounds while he had two screws in the foot for about five months.

He has since trimmed down to 245 now.

After having nine catches for 99 yards last year during a season in when he also dealt with a high ankle sprain, the redshirt junior from Valdosta is approaching the season with cautious optimism. With Arthur Lynch now in the NFL, Rome is the top tight end.

“I know once I get back to 100 percent, I’m not going to have to prove anything,” Rome said. “I feel like my play is going to speak for itself.”