Richt ‘encouraged’ by Mitchell’s progress; receiver could play Saturday

Georgia’s injury situation heading into Saturday’s Southeastern Conference opener at Missouri looks more promising for the Bulldogs.

Malcolm Mitchell, who moved from receiver to cornerback prior to spring practice to help out the secondary for this matchup, practiced with the defensive backs looking much-improved on his sprained left ankle from a day earlier.

Coach Mark Richt said Mitchell will make the trip to Missouri.

“He did pretty good,” Richt said. “I’m not certain that he’s full-speed, but it’s Wednesday. I’m encouraged. We’ve got a couple of more days to see. He will get scout work.”

Meanwhile, starting offensive right tackle John Theus returned to practice for the first time since spraining his left ankle in Saturday’s win over Buffalo.

“He looked good, moving around a lot better than he was,” offensive lineman Austin Long said. “I haven’t really seen him or talked to him about how it felt since we got out of practice.”

Theus and offensive lineman Watts Dantzler, who also had a sprained ankle, worked with a trainer on the side during the portion of practice opened to the media.

“They did OK,” Richt said. “They didn’t go very long. They practiced. We didn’t want Theus getting anything more than scout team work anyway.”

Long and Xzavier Ward have worked at right tackle in place of Theus. Long said he worked at right guard Wednesday because starter Chris Burnette has a chest injury. Burnette is not listed on Georgia’s injury report but left the opener in the second half before returning.

If Theus isn’t in the lineup, Long could get the call.

“He may start this game,” Richt said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, I really don’t. And if he doesn’t start, it may not be long before he’s in there depending on how everybody holds up.”

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