This and that: Richt mum on Garner, injury updates

semerson@macon.comDecember 20, 2012 

ATHENS - There hasn't been a change on the Georgia coaching staff in nearly two years. There haven't even many concrete stories of contact.

Now comes word that defensive line coach Rodney Garner is a candidate for a spot at Auburn, on new head coach Gus Malzahn's staff. has reported that Garner is a candidate at Auburn, his alma mater.

Head coach Mark Richt wouldn't address it after Thursday's practice.

"I'm not discussing any personnel stuff right now," Richt said.

Garner has been in attendance at all of Georgia's practices this week, including Thursday.

Richt also mum on academics

Richt did not want to address any potential academic casualties until after the team arrives in Orlando on Dec. 26. "We'll do academics when we get to the bowl site," Richt said.

It should be noted that last year, when the team didn't have any players academically ineligible, Richt indicated before the Christmas break that everything was fine.

Abry Jones probable for Cap One

Senior defensive end Abry Jones remains on track to return for one final game. Jones, who had ankle surgery in November, hasn't practiced yet but is running, and Richt said that if there are no setbacks he expects Jones to play.

"Abry looked good today. He was running today, and it's definitely possibility. I think it's more of a probability now," Richt said. "Just looking at him running today, I think today gave him more confidence. ... He's not in the best condition right this minute, but he ran about as fast as he could and felt good."

Other injury updates

Junior offensive tackle Austin Long underwent surgery for a fractured right hand, but still has a chance to play in the bowl, according to Richt.

"Not long into (the recovery) you could club a guy, and protect what's been done surgically. So there's even a chance he could play in the game," Richt said. "But we don't think it'll affect spring ball at all."

Long has appeared in 13 games, with no starts, but offensive line coach Will Friend said this week that Long had a chance to earn a starting job in the bowl.

The receiver position has been decimated by minor injuries, but Richt didn't appear too worried. Malcolm Mitchell (groin strain) did some work in Thursday's practice, and Tavarres King (hamstring strain) is expected to be ready after the Christmas break.

Tight end Jay Rome had an upper leg injury during Wednesday's practice. Richt didn't know how serious that would end up being.

Nose tackle John Jenkins (concussion) hasn't practiced in awhile.

"Well, he's getting better. We'll see," Richt said.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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