ATHENS, Ga. — Hope gave way to reality Wednesday, as Georgia coach Mark Richt announced safety Bacarri Rambo and receiver A.J. Green were likely to miss Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech.
Just a day earlier, Richt said he was confident that Rambo, who suffered a concussion against Auburn two weeks ago, would be ready in time for the game, but the redshirt freshman was not cleared to play by trainer Ron Courson, putting Rambo’s chances of playing at almost none.
“Ron just says he’s not ready yet, so he’s not ready,” Richt said. “I don’t think he’ll play.”
The same is true for Green, Georgia’s leading receiver who has missed two of the past three games with varying injuries. A sprained shoulder suffered against Auburn had Green questionable for action already, but with just one practice session remaining before Saturday’s kickoff against the Yellow Jackets, Richt said there was little chance the star receiver would see action.
“My term is hopeful because you hope he makes it, but he’s doubtful, too,” Richt said. “I wouldn’t rule him out, but the chances aren’t very good at all.”
Georgia will be without third-string tailback Richard Samuel for the game after the sophomore collided with walk-on cornerback Christian Norton in practice Tuesday, sending both players to the hospital.
Samuel was running a route in the flat, but after catching the football, Norton delivered a hard hit to the tailback that sent both players to the ground.
“It was a pretty hard collision for both of them, and both of them ended up getting a concussion. For safety sake, we sent them over to the hospital for X-rays and to get looked at,” Richt said.
Norton was knocked unconscious, and both players suffered concussions and minor neck injuries, Richt said.
None of the injuries were considered severe, and both players were released from the hospital the same day.
Richt said he was unsure if either player would be ready for Georgia’s bowl game.
Avoiding the rumor mill
Despite rampant speculation about the future of many of Georgia’s assistant coaches, Richt said the energy at practice this week has remained high and players are avoiding the rumors about resignations and terminations on the staff.
“What I’ve found is they’re going to go about as hard as we go,” Richt said. “I think the coaches still kind of make the weather for the guys. If we go out there and we get to work and coach them up and have the same expectations we’ve always had, then they’ll rise to that.”
Of course, the rumors have spread beyond the locker room, and Richt said he’s sure that other schools are using the speculation as a recruiting tool with many top prospects.
“I’m sure people do that, and people are going to use whatever they can use,” he said. “Right now, again, we’ve just got to focus on this ballgame. All these things we’re talking about aren’t going to help us win, so that’s what we’re focusing on right now.”
Georgia’s coaching staff is scheduled to take a furlough day prior to the end of the month as part of the state’s mandatory furloughs, but most are expected to hit the road for the start of the NCAA’s open contact period for recruiting as early as Sunday.