November 15, 2009

Rambo, Green recovering from injuries

Bacarri Rambo wasn't in the hospital for long.

The Georgia safety was taken to St. Mary's in Athens following his concussion in the final minute of Saturday's 31-24 victory over Auburn, but Sunday was back at team's training facility, cutting up with teammates as if nothing was wrong.

"He's down there laughing and joking like normal," linebacker Christian Robinson said. "I asked him how he was doing and he said all right. I don't know the technical terms, but to see him joking around was good no matter what."

Rambo's injury, along the AC joint sprain suffered by wide receiver A.J. Green, who head coach Mark Richt said Sunday remains out indefinitely after suffering the injury to his left shoulder early in the second quarter.

"A.J. has an AC joint (sprain) in his shoulder and will not play this week for sure, I'm not certain after that," Richt said. "We do not believe it will require any surgery. We think it will heal on its own."

As for Rambo, Richt confirmed that the redshirt freshman will not play Saturday against Kentucky. His future after that is uncertain, but Richt said the Bulldog staff has been surprised with how quickly he seems to have responded.

"He's recovered extremely well," Richt said. "There are really no symptoms from it, no headaches, no neck pain. Every test he's been through he's passed with flying colors, but still he will not play this week for sure."

Rambo was momentarily knocked unconscious while making a hit on the goal line against Auburn's Mario Fannin, who dropped the ball. The play likely kept Saturday's contest from going into overtime.

After the play, Rambo was assessed and stabilized on a spine board by Georgia sports medicine staff and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and was transported by ambulance to St. Maryıs Hospital, where he underwent diagnostic testing. All diagnostic tests were normal. He remained overnight at St. Mary's Hospital for observation and was released from the hospital earlier Sunday afternoon. He will continue to be reassessed daily by the Georgia sports medicine staff.

Robinson was in the immediate vicinity during the play and actually stepped on Rambo, who teased his teammate for the miss-step.

"He got on to me for that," Robinson said. "I jumped, my cleat hit him real quick but I didn't smash him too bad."

With Green out, Richt said he has not totally decided who would start at receiver for Saturday night's game against Kentucky.

Conventional wisdom would seem to suggest that senior Mike Moore and redshirt freshman Tavarres King would get the call, but according to Richt, both starting positions are apparently now up for grabs.

"We've got some practicing to do before we determine who we're starting at receiver," Richt said. "We made some nice plays on the ball, but we need to do a better job blocking on the perimeter, much better. I was very disappointed at how we blocked at the receiver position. It's a little similar to running back, where if you're not going to pass protect, you're not going to start, either. We've got to see how wants it the most and that will be determined by how those guys practice."

Earlier Sunday, Kentucky coach Rich Brooks was asked how Green's absence would affect the way his Wildcats defended the rest of Georgia's receivers.

"I saw the injury and saw him strapped up on the sideline with his pads off and having the left arm strapped down," Brook said. "We would probably flip Trevard Lindley like we have done in the past with the best receiver. But with (Green), if he doesn't play, they probably wouldn't flip Trevard to cover him on either side."

But even without Green, Brooks said the Bulldogs will be a huge challenge for his Wildcats (6-4, 2-4).

"I watched the game when I got back. They are a very talented team, a lot of speed and athletic ability on defense and their numbers don't really tell the story how good of players and defense they have," Brooks said. "That showed up to me in the second half and I thought their comeback was very impressive. Offensively, they looked like a different team, particularly in the second half. They became a physical, downhill running team and really took it to Auburn and got a great win. They looked more like the Georgia of old with the ability to pound the ball at you."

But just because Green won't be available, don't think that Georgia will all of a sudden abandon the pass.

Quarterback Joe Cox said the other receivers have to step up.

"Obviously when you have a guy like that a lot of your game plan is geared toward getting him the ball and getting him the ball in space. We'll figure out something. But as the week goes one, we'll see whose making plays and who wants to step up," Cox said. "With our running game getting better the past couple of weeks, we want to try and establish that, definitely. It's a big part of our offense that we haven't had that much this year and we need to keep it rolling."

NOTES: Richt said that linebacker Darius Dewberry (elbow) is expected to play Saturday against Kentucky. … Brooks said that quarterback Mike Hartline will have surgery to repair cartilage in his knee. He will miss the Wildcats' final two regular-season games, including Saturday's contest at Georgia. With Hartline out, look for the Wildcats to use both Morgan Newton and Randall Cobb. Brooks said Cobb is nursing a bruised shoulder but is expected to be ready for practice by Tuesday or Wednesday. … Richt was asked whether or not he thought Georgia's defense was playing better than it did in 2008. "I think the thing I would have liked to have seen is what kind of defense we would have played all year if we were not constantly turning the ball over deep or throwing the pick-6 because all the those things can deflate the energy of a team, not just the defense, but the team. If we could magically take away the very short fields we put them it, it would be interesting to see how we would have stacked up. But right this minute we're playing very well."

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