The best thing about tonight's dress rehearsal for Georgia's football team is that it's not the real deal.
Georgia's secondary has been ravaged by nagging injuries, with junior cornerback Damian Swann joining the list with a hip flexor and a groin strain that left him limited in Tuesday's practice. Freshman safety Tray Matthews has a strained hamstring, junior safety Corey Moore has a sprained knee and sophomore cornerback Sheldon Dawson has a sprained shoulder.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to play a half tonight at Sanford Stadium against their scout team, which will be simulating Clemson, the opening foe on Aug. 31.
"It's not as healthy as I hoped it would be," coach Mark Richt said. "There are guys who are missing reps, obviously. Some guys might be ready by the time the game starts, but how many reps are they going to get between now and then?
"They won't be as ready as they could have been had they gotten all their reps. It's a problem, but it's football. Everybody has their problems."
The healthiest defensive back for Georgia right now is sophomore safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who is suspended for the opener after admitting to police this spring that he had been smoking marijuana.
Moore has missed more than two weeks of practice and is believed to be the most questionable of the bunch for the program's first trip to Clemson in a decade. Senior defensive end Garrison Smith told reporters after Tuesday's practice that the absence of defensive backs is more of a preventive thing.
"I don't really think guys are injured where they can't play," Smith said. "I think they are just trying to make sure they are 100 percent before they bring them all the way back. You don't want to bring a guy back when he is only 90 percent when you can actually get him to 100 percent."
The scout team will be spotted a 28-0 halftime lead in tonight's simulation, and redshirt sophomore quarterback Christian LeMay will get first crack at portraying Clemson's Tajh Boyd.
Odds and ends
Junior receiver Malcolm Mitchell was not on Tuesday's injury report after being listed Monday with a swollen knee. ... Richt said he has awarded several scholarships to walk-ons but he would not make that public out of respect to those walk-ons who did not earn one.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...