October 14, 2008

Durham, Chandler unsure on returns

Tight end Tripp Chandler and wide receiver Kris Durham have something in common besides shoulder injuries. Neither player is quite sure when he'll be back.

Durham at least appears to be closer.

The junior, who sat out last week's game against Tennessee, did some light jogging during practice Tuesday and said he's not counting himself for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt.

Then again, he's not going to push himself, either.

"I think I might be able to go, but I'm still kind of tired after I run," Durham said. "I'll know a lot more between now and Saturday. I really don't know, but I do feel a lot better."

Durham said if it were up to him there would be no doubt as to whether he would play.

"I know I could push through it. I'm 100 percent sure about that, but at the same time I don't want to hurt it any worse than it is," Durham said. "If I'm still limping out there I'm not going to be any help to the team."

Chandler's situation isn't nearly as clear.

When asked how many games he anticipated he would still miss, the senior shrugged, although head coach Mark Richt has suggested that he could be back in time for next week's game at LSU.

"I haven't got the word yet about when I'll be back or anything. I'm just working hard and rehabbing every day," Chandler said in an exclusive interview with UGASports.. "It's tough. It was tough to see your team play against Tennessee, and it will be tough to see them play against Vanderbilt. But it is what it is and there's nothing I can do except rehab and get back as fast as I can."

According to Chandler, the injury against Alabama occurred when an opposing player's helmet smashed into the AC joint of his shoulder during a kickoff return by Remarcus Brown.

"You can't sit and sulk, you can't pout about it. You just have to accept the situation and fight hard to get back," he said. "Injuries have hit this team this year, but I think it will be a good test of character for this team and how we fight this different adversity week after week with guys coming up with some situation and not being able to play."

Meanwhile, Chandler said he's doing whatever he can to help fellow tight ends Bruce Figgins and Aron White get ready for Saturday's game against the Commodores.

"I'm just being an experience advocate for those guys, to let them know different situations that they will see and the different moves that guys will try against them," Chandler said. "Aron didn't play against Vanderbilt, I did, so I'll be in his ear and tell him how those guys are going to try and play them."

Brannan Southerland and Shaun Chapas have had questions as well. The two fullbacks actually played some tight end against Tennessee, and head coach Mark Richt has suggested that the two could continue to do so the rest of the 2008 campaign.

"Brannan's had his questions, just different situations when he's in the game. Fullbacks and tight ends usually go hand in hand with what they're trying to do, although sometimes it gets changed up a little bit," he said. "Brannan definitely has the body size; he just needs some height to have it all. He's a big boy, give him five or six more inches and he'll be around our height."

NOTE: CBS announced that it will televise the Georgia-Florida game set for Nov. 1 in Jacksonville.

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