Unclear when Jones will return to practice

Georgia starting center Ben Jones missed practice Thursday, and it remained unclear when he will return from the ankle injury sustained the day before.

“As far as I know, it’s just day-to-day,” said Jones’ fellow offensive lineman, Clint Boling. “See how it goes.”

Georgia spokesman Claude Felton said the injury is a sprained left ankle and that the timing of Jones’ return depends on how he responds to treatment.

In Jones’ absence from the practice field Thursday, junior Chris Davis shifted from left guard to center.

Jones’ injury occurred during an 11-on-11 portion of Wednesday’s practice that was closed to the media.

“I really did not see it. I just heard,” Boling said Thursday. “He was screaming a little bit, but Ben is a tough kid. He’ll be all right. He’ll be able to tough it out. ... I’m sure he’s going to be out there as soon as he can.”

In fact, Boling said, Jones made an appearance on the field Thursday, although he was not able to practice.

Said quarterback Joe Cox: “You hate to see anybody go down. Everybody was pretty worried at first, but people get hurt in football. It’s just one of those things where you have to have somebody ready to step in and play, and we’ve got guys who can do that. We just got to move on for now, and hopefully he gets back to play.”

Asked if he expects him back by the Sept. 5 opener at Oklahoma State, Cox said: “I don’t know any timelines. ... Just play, whenever that is, whether that’s practice or the game.”

Neither coach Mark Richt nor any of his assistants spoke with the media Thursday. Richt left immediately after practice for a son’s football game. Boling is the only offensive lineman currently permitted to speak with the media.

Jones, a sophomore from Centreville, Ala., started 10 games at center last season and was named to the Freshman All-SEC team by the league’s coaches.

Davis, who has been working mostly at first-team left guard this month, started all 13 games last season — the first three at center, seven at right guard and three at left guard.

“When Ben went down [Wednesday] in 11-on-11, [Davis] just hopped in there [at center] and was ready to go,” Boling said. “That’s what we expected all along — if something happens, someone else has got to be ready to go.”

With Davis at center Thursday, Boling said Vince Vance and Justin Anderson got work at No. 1 left guard.


● With UGA employees, including coaches, required to take six unpaid furlough days this school year, Boling was asked if he thinks offensive line coach Stacy Searels is capable of taking a day off in mid-season. “I wish,” Boling said. “But I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

● Starting safeties Reshad Jones and Bryan Evans remained in green non-contact jerseys because of hamstring strains. Jones appeared to be running well.

● Cox praised the progress of freshman receivers Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten, both of whom are expected to play immediately.