It’s likely a sizable portion of the Georgia fan base got all giddy over the intimations Wednesday evening that Todd Gurley could very well be on the verge of a return. Just as likely, those very fans are about to now be disappointed.
Head coach Mark Richt said after practice yesterday that he thinks he will know the status of the running back prior to flying to Little Rock Friday for UGA’s game against Arkansas Saturday. The All-American is under investigation amidst allegations that he received payment in exchange for his signature on dozens of pieces of memorabilia and was suspended for the win over Missouri last Saturday.
Richt did offer the qualifier that “if he’s eligible to play, he’ll travel. If he’s not, he won’t travel,” although that didn’t do much to rein in the optimism.
Just as Richt had giveth hope, though, the coach taketh it away as, just a short time ago, he took to Twitter to offer the latest on Gurley’s availability.
Gurley did return to practice this week, although, as Richt’s tweet further bore out, that meant little. With Gurley likely sidelined a second game, the running game will once again be placed on the shoulders of Nick Chubb. In the Mizzou win, the true freshman carried the ball 38 times, the sixth-highest total in school history.
UGA likely won’t be getting any help from Keith Marshall as Richt said he’s doubtful for the Razorbacks game, even as there was some optimism earlier in the week. Marshall injured his leg in the win over Troy on Sept. 20 and has missed the last three games.
To buttress the depth at the position, sophomore J.J. Green was moved from safety to running back earlier this week. That move is temporary as Jones, who played in the backfield last season, will be moved back to the defensive secondary once either Gurley or Marshall return.