Georgia football masks player availability for Orange Bowl CFP Semifinal amid

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. — The Georgia football team has had some players suffering COVID-19-like symptoms this week, according to a source with direct information.

Those UGA players could be held out or limited in practice, depending on the nature and severity of their symptoms.

The CDC on Monday cut the isolation restrictions for those who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and also shortened the time contacts must stay quarantined.

The Bulldogs took advantage of a last-minute option provided by College Football Playoff organizers to close practice on Monday, leaving open the possibility of unexpected absences in the 7:30 p.m. CFP Semifinal matchup against Michigan at Hard Rock Stadium.

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An Orange Bowl committee source told DawgNation that Georgia quickly exercised the option to close practice at Barry University on Monday.

The CFP on Monday tacked on the option to close practices, in addition to the other strict COVID-19 protocol in place, amid the surge of the Omicron variant.

Michigan elected to close its practice on Monday after learning UGA’s would close its practices, per the Orange Bowl source. The Wolverines had originally planned to have open practices.

Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis indicated on Monday that UM is “100 percent” healthy.

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Georgia safety Lewis Cine said during the Bulldogs’ morning Zoom call that the Bulldogs are “98 or 99 percent” vaccinated.

Those players who are vaccinated do not have to be tested unless showing overt COVID-19 symptoms — at the discretion of the Georgia training staff.

UGA quarterback JT Daniels was not seen at the team hotel upon the Bulldogs’ arrival on Sunday, believed to be in quarantine after contacting COVID-19 before the holiday break.

Daniels’ status for the game remains “questionable” until further notice, though he has been quarantined longer than the CDC’s updated five-day period.

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Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken is scheduled to speak with the media on Tuesday morning and will likely be asked about Daniels’ status.

The Bulldogs chose to stay in the busy downtown district of Miami near Bayfront Park, which on Sunday night was swarmed by thousands of pedestrians, many coming ashore from docked cruise liners.

Georgia team captain Jordan Davis said the players were made aware of the need to take precautions.

“Excited to be in Miami, but as we all know, it’s a hot spot for COVID,” Davis said on Monday. “We have to protect ourselves and wear our masks.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart has not been available to the media since last Monday and has not provided any updates on player availability.

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Smart isn’t scheduled to be available to talk to the media until Thursday.

The Georgia players arrived in Miami at higher risk for COVID-19-related issues than Michigan after taking a three-day break to return to their homes and visit with family members last Wednesday.

Michigan players chose not to take a break for the holiday, applying a “bubble” effect by keeping the players on campus before arriving in Miami on Saturday — a day ahead of the Bulldogs.

Georgia team captain Nakobe Dean shared that the Bulldogs’ players had a team meal on a boat on Sunday night but have been taking precautions.

“We have masks on, trying to stay safe from this new variant out there,” Dean said. “So, for the most part, we’re staying around each other and just chilling.”

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