A.J. Bryant dislocated his left shoulder on Aug. 10 and hadn't practiced until Monday, when he wore a green, no-contact jersey but ran full speed in passing drills. Coach Mark Richt had pronounced Bryant "doubtful" for the season-opener as recently as Saturday, but called him "probable" Monday.
"I knew I was going to be back," Bryant said. "I'm not really surprised.
Bryant suffered the same injury during his junior season at Peach County, he said, and returned the next week to play against Dublin in the homecoming game.
"That was a big game," he said.
Linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler (ankle) also returned earlier than expected and is more than 90 percent healthy, Richt said. Wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (hamstring) got back on the field but is still limited in his participation. Still, Richt refused to count Massaquoi out for the first game.
"If he can start running full speed by the end of the week here, he's still got a chance," he said.