Georgia offensive lineman Ben Cleveland met with media members Tuesday, the first time he’s done so since suffering a serious leg injury at Missouri in late September. He said some subsequent ankle problems were related to the left fibula fracture he encountered.
“When I broke (my leg), there was some ankle stuff that got messed up in there as well. It was a never-ending process until it got healed up together,” said Cleveland, who has been competing at right guard this spring with sophomore Cade Mays.
“It was tough. My leg felt good like I could play, but obviously at practice it just wasn’t there. I tried to push through and I tried to fight from it, but some things you just can’t control, and it was one of those things we didn’t want to push too much.”
Cleveland, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 340 pounds, said that after the injury he was able to play about two snaps against Auburn and serve as a shield on the Bulldogs’ punt team. He added he feels like he’s come all the way back from the injuries.
“I think I am (back),” said the rising junior, who played in eight games in 2018. “It was a little tough at the very beginning of spring to get back in the feel of things because I hadn’t taken a full-speed rep in six or seven months. It was definitely difficult coming, but I think I got some of the rust knocked off of it now.”
When asked how he was able to take the field on the punt team but couldn’t play on the line, Cleveland said, “I didn’t have to push off anybody and move a 340-pound man in front of me. On (punt team) I just had to sit there and take a blow. They felt I could take up space and keep the punter safe, so that’s what I did.”
Now that he’s back in the swing of things, Cleveland pointed out the silver lining in the black cloud of injury.
“It’s great,” he said. “Personally, I don’t feel any difference, and I think my teammates can see that. I think me being out last year allowed us to grow more depth, and that’s only going to help us in the long run.”
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