Georgia football coach Mark Richt usually fields several specific questions in his postpractice news conferences with beat writers about why a particular player was sidelined.
Those figure to decrease thanks to a new policy the program began after this morning’s practice.
An “injury-illness report” was handed out to reporters before Richt entered the room. It will be provided each day Georgia practices.
On the list today: defensive end Ray Drew (concussion); defensive end Abry Jones (left knee contusion), guard Chris Burnette (illness, probably return to practice Tuesday), safety Marc Deas (right hamstring strain, status day-to-day), tight end Hugh Williams (left hand third metacarpal fracture, surgery today and expected to return in 10 to 14 days) and receiver C.J. Wyatt (illness).
Ron Courson, Georgia’s director of sports medicine, provides the report.
“It wasn’t my idea, it wasn’t my brainstorm, but I’m part of the team,” Richt said. “I think it’s just to give you guys exactly what we want to give you and when you ask me a question about it, I’ll say just read the report. That’ll be kind of the way to go. If you want to ask me about how that affects your depth chart, that’s how it’s going to go.”
The move by Georgia comes days after Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen reacted angrily when asked about injury questions in Starkville.
“I think in football, injury reports are important,” Richt said. “People want to know about what’s going on, but you’ve got family members that you want to consider when you throw stuff out there, but it’s something we planned in the offseason. It has nothing to do with anything happening currently.”
Georgia hopes the official injury report will relieve coaches from having to answer questions. Some simply refer questions to Courson anyway.
Drew, who moved to defensive end in the spring, is missing valuable practice time.
“He needs reps no doubt,” Richt said. “I think we all need reps. Even the veterans, they need a certain amount of reps to get to where they’re sharp.”
The injuries to Jones and Drew have thinned the defensive end position.
“Once a guy or two starts to miss practice, it usually starts to take more of a toll on that position group,” Richt said. “We’ve got some good quality depth, but it’s not like it’s unlimited in that area. In the 105 (preseason roster), there’s a lot more offensive players than defensive players.”
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