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Post Injuries will continue to impact the Dawgs

Wednesday January 7, 2009

David Hale reminds us today that we aren’t necessarily free from the aftermath of this season’s injuries just because the calendar has flipped. 14 players will be limited or absent from spring practice due to recovery from 2008 injuries. I’d say about half of them are players you’d consider likely or possible starters in 2009.

  • TE Bruce Figgins, shoulder
  • DE Rod Battle, shoulder
  • LB Darius Dewberry, shoulder
  • DT Jeff Owens, ACL
  • OT Trinton Sturdivant, ACL
  • OG Vince Vance, ACL
  • OG Chris Davis, hip

Put another way: anywhere from a quarter to a third of Georgia’s 2009 starters are expected to miss spring practice due to injury. The impact on the offensive line is especially acute. With new starters at tailback and quarterback likely in 2009, the play of the offensive line will become even more important. The good news is that depth and experience are finally in place, but our ideal starting line which would include Sturdivant, Vance, and perhaps Davis won’t get much work together before August.

Though all of the injured are expected to be back in plenty of time for the season, the Southerland factor has to be given at least some consideration. By that I mean we should consider that the road to recovery might be rocky for at least one of the injured. Whether it delays their return altogether or impacts their conditioning, there is at least the possibility that we will still be paying for these injuries into next season. Injuries that linger into summer and even into August make it very difficult especially for someone who is trying to earn his way up the depth chart. I think back to Tony Wilson who had to miss spring ball last year, struggled to get back into the rotation for this year, and then went out with another injury which, according to the ABH, might keep him out of yet another spring practice.

Missing spring practice isn’t the end of the world, but they wouldn’t be practicing if it didn’t matter.

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