October 9, 2013

Gurley tests his ankle


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As promised by head coach Mark Richt, running back apparently Todd Gurley did some straight-line running during Wednesday's closed practice.

The results?

"I wasn't watching. As a matter of fact, when I looked, he was kind of walking off the field," Richt said. "But I talked to Ron (head trainer Ron Courson) about it. He did OK, but he is not ready to practice right now."

However, despite that bit of info, Richt still wasn't ready to concede that the sophomore would definitely miss Saturday's noon game against No. 25 Missouri (ESPN).

"I'm not going to count him out because he is progressing, he is getting better," Richt said. "If I say he's out now and Friday he feels real good then I would look kind of foolish, so … he's rehabbing, he's getting better but not good enough to play."

Whether or not Gurley can play will have a direct impact who lines up as the Bulldogs' No. 3 tailback.

Right now, Richt said doesn't know the answer.

"That's a good question. We're working (Kyle) Karempelis), (Brandon) Harton and A.J. (Turman)," he said. "We'll see how it works out. All those guys need to get reps and make sure they know what to do."

When asked specifically about Turman, Richt said the Orlando native is ready if need be. He also thinks he'd be happy to step in.

"I think he'd be all for it. I haven't sat down with him to be honest with you, but the other coaches have been talking to him the last few weeks," Richt said. "He seems to be excited about getting reps with the 1s and 2s that he's getting right now. He doesn't look like a guy who's bummed about the opportunity or possible opportunity. He seems kind of anxious for it, so that helps."

Richt sets timetable for Bennett's return

One day after wide receiver Michael Bennett underwent arthroscopic surgery on his injured right knee, Richt had some good news regarding the junior's possible return.

"I'm not a doctor, but my best guess, from what I'm hearing, is he's got a really good shot at the Florida game," Richt said. "With the scope, they cleaned up the meniscus rather than have to repair it. They trimmed it up."

Bennett suffered the injury in the third quarter of Saturday's overtime win over Tennessee.

Davis to keep returning kicks

Despite the depth issues at receiver, Richt said that freshman Reggie Davis will continue to return kicks.

"We've had Reggie back there the last little bit so he'll be there," Richt said. "We were kind of fazing him out anyway. We've liked what Reggie is doing."

Richt said that cornerback Sheldon Dawson and running back J.J. Green were also players they would consider.

Richt pleased with young wideouts

Richt said he was happy with what he saw from his young wideouts during practice Wednesday, particularly from Michael Erdman and Blake Tibbs.

"I'm pleased with how they are understanding their assignments, they don't look lost out there so it's not like we're starting from scratch with Erdman and Tibbs," Richt said. "Tibbs played a lot at flanker and Erdman has played a good bit at different positions. It's not like we're putting two freshmen out there with them in. I feel good."

In regards to Tibbs, Richt indicated the redshirt freshman was actually making good progress before all the injuries hit the Bulldogs' receiving corps.

"I tell the team all the time, there's a difference between ability or capability and dependability," Richt said. "There are guys who are capable, but you've got to be dependable. You've got to be dependable on the field and you've got to be dependable of the field - that's what we're looking for.

"When you become dependable, you become consistent and you can earn the trust of your coaches. That's what (Tibbs) was fighting hard to do. But he's made a lot of progress. He made a lot of progress in fall camp, but we had some numbers and we had other guys we felt were in better position to make that top six or seven. But he was moving in the right direction, and now with these injuries, his opportunity is here. Here's a wonderful chance to show Coach (Tony) Ball, Coach (Mike) Bobo) and myself that he can be a dependable performer."

This and that

Fullback Quayvon Hicks (left ankle/knee sprain) practiced Wednesday, according to Richt. He is still considered day-to-day … The Bulldogs practiced for two hours in jerseys, shoulder pads and shorts.

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