ATHENS, Ga. — One week into practice, Georgia is facing depth problems at defensive tackle after Ken Veal suffered a sprained ankle in a goal-line drill Saturday.
Before Veal’s injury at the end of the first practice session in full pads, defensive line coach Rodney Garner already had lost Ray Gant to a concussion, Dale Dixson to a possible concussion and Gerald Anderson to a neck sprain. Yet another defensive tackle, Darrell Holmes, has been held out of contact all week with a shoulder injury.
Of the five injured defensive tackles, Veal may miss the most significant amount of time, though Coach Mark Richt said Anderson also is expected to be out “a little while.’’ Veal was taken for X-rays Saturday afternoon.
“(Veal) was having a real good camp so far,’’ Garner said. “He had picked up where he left off (last season). You hate it for him, being his senior year.’’
The injuries left almost no healthy backups behind projected sophomore starters Darrius Swain and Kedric Golston.
Garner said Golston has made a strong start to preseason practice after having offseason leg surgery.
“Golston is doing well, he and Veal were doing really good,’’ Garner said. “Both of them are trying to be leaders.’’
Garner said Swain has not enjoyed a strong opening week of practice.
Said Garner: “We wish (Swain) had Kedric’s mentality. Darrius is a talent. We haven’t given up on him but he has been disappointing so far with his work habits. God was good to Darrius, and when much is given, much is expected. He’s not holding up his end of the deal.’’
Swain also started slow in practice before his freshman season, but he played in every game and made four starts.
Scranton leaves team: Freshman defensive end Aaron Scranton already has quit football for the second time in as many seasons. Signed as a scholarship player last year, Scranton left after only two practices.
This time, given a chance to return as a walk-on player, Scranton lasted less than a week before telling Coach Mark Richt Friday that he was leaving the team.
Too light to make a contribution this season, Scranton was expected to be redshirted this year.