Kirby Smart updates Georgia soccer injuries and talks about running back rotation

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ATHENS – Kirby Smart said James Cook should be cleared for Georgia’s game at Alabama on Saturday, adding even more depth to a competitive field situation.

“We expect to find him, we thought he could go there in an emergency on Saturday, we felt good that we could go if we needed Saturday,” Smart said during his Monday Zoom press conference.

“We have good depth there right now so hopefully he’s 100% healthy and ready to go.

RELATED: Big Question From Backfield Competition For UGA In Bama

The No. 3-seeded Bulldogs (3-0) take on the No. 2-seeded Tide (3-0) at 8 p.m. Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

Cook, who was to be a centerpiece of Todd Monken’s new attack, injured his shoulder in the first half of Auburn’s game on October 3 and was taken to the locker room before half-time.

The Miami junior had a rough start in Arkansas, dropping two assists and fumbling for the ball, but seemed to have found his stride against the Tigers with five carries for 41 yards.

Many Georgia fans were excited about the production of future full-backs Kenny McIntosh and Kendall Milton, but Smart said he was excited about the entire running back room.

“I was very happy with the full backs, I think protecting the ball is key for us,” said Smart, referring to how junior rookie Zamir White has protected the ball this season. “They run hard after contact and break tackles, each one is a little different from the other.

“James brings an exciting quality to our offense and brings a different flair than maybe some guys.

Indeed, but Milton and McIntosh also showed great attributes in terms of power and explosiveness, while true rookie Daijun Edwards showed versatility.

Cook said last week he often postpones leading game coordinator and running backs coach Dell McGee, who handles running back substitutions and personnel decisions.

Here’s a look at the stats for each UGA back:

Rush

White 54 carries, 209 yards 3.9 yards per carry

Milton 15 carries 90 yards, 6.0 yards per carry

McIntosh 17 carries, 80 yards, 4.7 yards per carry

Cook 12 carries, 67 yards, 5.6 yards per carry

Edwards 12 carries, 38 yards, 3.2 yards per carry

To receive

McIntosh 4 attrapés, 51 yards

White 3 sockets, 19 meters

Cook 2 outlets, 10 meters

INJURY UPDATE

Smart said offensive linemen Warren Ericson and Ben Cleveland left last Saturday’s game due to “fatigue,” and said neither was injured.

Smart also said wide receiver Tommy Bush was in a “minor (traffic) accident” and had “a little concussion, he’s got injuries, but we’re thankful Tommy is doing well because it’s was a dangerous situation.

Projected player availability

OLB Jermaine Johnson (shoulder) probable

WR Matt Landers (main / poignet) probable

RB James Cook (shoulder), probable

WR Arian Smith (knee), doubtful

OL Netori Johnson (academics), released

OL Tommy Bush (concussion), released

DB Kelee Ringo (Labrum), exit

WR Dominick Blaylock (genou), sorti

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