Georgia football: Injuries prove to be heading in positive direction

Hendon Hooker of the Tennessee Volunteers drops back to pass while being chased by Devonte Wyatt. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Hendon Hooker of the Tennessee Volunteers drops back to pass while being chased by Devonte Wyatt. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Georgia football has gotten to use the last two weeks to rest players to be as healthy as possible for Saturday’s matchup against Saturday.

The Dawgs took on Georgia Tech last week, and by the third quarter, most of the starters were on the sideline, avoiding injuries to the key playmakers. Younger guys got to come in and earn some confidence, giving head coach Kirby Smart a lot to look forward to after this year.

The injury bug has latched onto the Dawgs this year and won’t let go just yet. Georgia has had to fight through this adversity all season long, and this week doesn’t change that.

Some players seem to be on the right track, while others are still working on getting back on the field.

Georgia football is getting healthier, but they could still see key playmakers miss Saturday’s game.

The Dawgs saw some of their biggest playmakers return last week for the Tech game, and while that is great to see, the injury list is still too long for comfort.

Georgia saw George Pickens return to action and get a five-yard catch last week, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Dawgs choose to utilize him against the Tide. With it being under a year, it’s astonishing to see him back on the field so soon.

However, if he is ready to go and trusts his knee, Pickens being back on the field is an added benefit. We must admit, though, it feels good to take his name off the injury report because he is an x-factor that excites his teammates regardless of whether he makes 10 catches or one.

While he returns, the likes of some others returning this week still loom as gameday is just days away.

Georgia football injury report

OL Tate Ratledge (Out)

CB Jalen Kimber (Out)

CB Tykee Smith (Out)

LB Rian Davis (Out)

WR Arian Smith (Out)

RB Kendall Milton (Questionable)

DB Christopher Smith (Probable)

WR Kearis Jackson (Probable)

OL Jamaree Salyer (Probable)

While this list slowly decreases each week, some of these names need to get healthy soon so they can help out on the field.

This team is getting closer to 100%, not counting those who suffered season-ending injuries. There are five guys left that could come back this year, and hopefully, Saturday will be that day, or they will at least be back for the playoffs.

Even with the list as it is, Georgia’s offense will finally be as lethal as it can be for the most important matchups of the year, and that is the biggest positive to take away from this injury report.

Georgia football players who could play in the SEC Championship Game

Hopefully, the Dawgs will see Kearis Jackson, Christopher Smith, Jamaree Salyer and Kendall Milton back in action this week, but both are still up in the air.

Smart said in his press conference on Monday that they wanted Salyer to be ready last week, but he had a minor setback that didn’t allow that. He also mentioned the same thing for Christopher Smith.

Georgia needs Smith and Salyer both on Saturday. While Broderick Jones has done a fantastic job at Salyer’s position while he has been out, it wouldn’t be a terrible thing to have Salyer on the line somewhere — hello, interior line help they need.

Salyer started the first eight games at left tackle but missed the last four. So while that isn’t an ideal situation for Georgia, it could be a blessing in disguise to keep Jones at tackle and move Salyer inside to help protect starting quarterback Stetson “the Mailman” Bennett.

Smith is one of the most experienced Dawgs on the team as he was the only guy to score a touchdown in the Week 1 matchup against Clemson. He has been a great asset for that secondary this year with two interceptions and bringing in a veteran mindset.

Jackson hurt his rib during the Georgia Tech game, but the way Smart talked about him in the press conferences, he could return. It’ll just depend on how it feels during practice. Jackson is a key asset, especially in the return department.

He has been getting closer and closer to busting a punt return loose that it would suck for him not to get a chance to do so against Alabama. Jackson is also a guy Bennett can trust on offense to catch or run the ball if needed.

Lastly, Milton tweaked that MCL a few weeks back, and it seemed like Tech was the goal for him to return, but he didn’t. This injury could be a confidence thing with him, plus he can come into next year as the lead running back, so get healthy before worrying about trying to rush this.

Next. Georgia football: 3 simple things the defense does to beat Alabama. dark

Georgia football has almost returned all its injured players ahead of the biggest stretch of games, and that is such a positive note. The Dawgs have plenty of weapons to choose from, but now they have a fully-loaded arsenal that can hurt a defense wherever they need them to.