Georgia’s Javon Bullard returns after one-game suspension

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

ATHENS – It looks like the suspension of Georgia defensive back Javon Bullard is going to be limited to one game.

ExploreUGA defensive starter arrested, charged with DUI

Bullard, a sophomore safety from Milledgeville, was arrested and charged with DUI on Sept. 25. He did not travel with the Bulldogs to their last game at Missouri this past Saturday. No. 2 Georgia plays host Auburn this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (CBS)

“We’re expecting to get Javon back this week,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Monday, without elaboration.

The question is whether Bullard will return to starting status at Georgia’s “star” position. Junior Tykee Smith filled in there this past Saturday at Missouri and, by all accounts, played quite well.

Smith played almost every snap against the Tigers and finished with three tackles. An All-American at West Virginia in 2020 before transferring to Georgia, Smith’s play was extremely limited by injuries last season, the last of which was a season-ending ACL injury. He did not play at all against Kent State and served a backup role in Georgia’s other three games.

“Tykee did a good job,” Smart said. “Tykee will continue to play star like he has in the previous games. He did a nice job practicing last week. We’ve got a lot of confidence in Tykee and it gives us some depth at that position.

“They complement each other real well and we hope both of them can help us.”

ExplorePolice detail arrest of Javon Bullard

The end of the suspension does not mean Bullard’s discipline is over. Since 2017, UGA athletics’ comprehensive action committee, which oversees student-athlete conduct and discipline, recommends violators of the department’s substance abuse policy to attend alcohol-and-drug-awareness classes and receive counseling. Offenders are also subjected to monitoring and random testing for at least a year.

Meanwhile, Bullard still must answer DUI and six other misdemeanor charges before Athens-Clarke County state court eventually.

According the arrest report filed by UGA police, Bullard was pulled over on River Road in Athens at 2:54 a.m. on Sept 25, hours after the Kent State game. Police said Bullard was observed leaving downtown Athens driving a 2000 Lexus on Thomas Street without headlights on and while talking on a cell phone being held against his head.

Bullard allegedly admitted to consuming “two shots” of alcohol and failed a field sobriety test. Police report that Bullard registered a 0.148 and 0.143 on a breathalyzer test conducted at the police station. Bullard subsequently was transported to the Athens-Clarke County Jail, where he was was booked at 4:57 a.m. for DUI, underage consumption and five misdemeanor driving offenses. He posted a $4,250 bond and was released at 8:30 a.m. the same day.