ATHENS, Ga. – Pretty much all banged-up Georgia players, when listed to be limited from contact, wear green jerseys to practice.
(Photo by Sonny Kennedy/Special to Dawgs247)
Obviously, Jarvis Jones isn’t like most players.
“I’m good. So I don’t need the green jersey,” Jones said Tuesday evening with a smile. “I don’t want that green jersey. I don’t want it. They couldn’t make me wear that green jersey.”
Through the duration of what is almost a two-week struggle with a strained groin muscle, Jones has not once been spotted at practice in a green jersey.
But the injury is still there. Georgia’s star linebacker and last year’s SEC sack leader has been listed as limited on UGA’s injury reports and missed the Florida Atlantic game this past weekend to rest his injury.
So is he confident he’ll be able to go Saturday against Vanderbilt?
“Oh, yeah,” Jones said. “I’m going to be ready to go this weekend. ... I'm gonna play.”
Backing that up, Jones was doing drills during Tuesday’s practice as a part of Georgia’s first-string defense.
“I’m fine,” Jones said. “I’ve been treating it ever since it happened. So I’m just getting back in the groove. They put me out there this week. We’re taking it slow. We’re not trying to do anything fast and probably reinjure myself. It’s a process, but I’ll be fine.”
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham sounded optimistic when asked about Jones after practice.
“He did all the stuff that we’re doing and got a good workout in,” Grantham said. “We’ll continue to do it day by day and see how he progresses. Hopefully, he’ll be at full strength come Saturday.”
Jones actually injured the groin muscle during practice the week of the Missouri game.
Nevertheless, that was a game where Jones was consistently in Missouri’s backfield. He picked off a pass and forced a fumble during a stretch of the fourth quarter. The performance earned him national player of the week honors – and even a few preliminary Heisman Trophy mentions.
Looking back, it’s amazing that he wasn’t healthy at the time.
“I just played through it,” Jones said. “When you play it, you’re going to aggravate it. I played through it. It gave me some problems. The second play, I just felt that it got worse. But I just played through it the whole game and left everything out there.”
Georgia made the decision to rest Jones for Florida Atlantic, though Jones said it was “a game-time decision.”
“I dressed out and everything,” Jones said. “The young guys went out there and played well. Coach Grantham just wanted to give them a chance to experience it and work on the small things they need to work on. I think they handled it well, and, I mean, they didn’t need me.”
And as for this weekend?
“I’m just ready to get out there and pick up where I left off,” Jones said.