Georgia QB JT Daniels to Be Cleared to Play vs. Auburn After Knee Injury Rehab

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2020

Georgia coach Kirby Smart leads the team onto the field before an NCAA college football game against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
Michael Woods/Associated Press

Georgia Bulldogs quarterback JT Daniels has been cleared to play ahead of the team's home matchup with Auburn on Saturday. 

"JT will be cleared, but I don't know how much that changes the picture in terms of reps and development, we'll be looking at everybody across the board," head coach Kirby Smart said, per Brandon Zimmerman of ESPN. "JT has got to be able to show us that he can function efficiently."

"We always thought he'd be cleared by this time anyway, but those guys will all compete as well as Carson (Beck, a freshman) will, too," Smart added, per Jake Rowe of 247Sports. 

Stetson Bennett (20-of-29 for 211 yards and two touchdowns) and starter D'Wan Mathis (8-of-17 for 55 yards and an interception) split reps on Saturday in Georgia's 37-10 win over Arkansas. 

Daniels, a USC transfer, looked as though he'd be the starter heading into the season. The sophomore split first-team reps in the preseason with Jamie Newman before the fellow transfer opted out of the season. Daniels then began splitting reps with Mathis, but once it became clear he wouldn't be cleared to play for the opener, Mathis and Bennett saw time at quarterback. 

At USC, Daniels tore his ACL in last season's opener against Fresno State. With Kedon Slovis establishing himself as the team's starting quarterback, the former 5-star recruit chose to transfer. 

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If Daniels does see playing time on Saturday, his first game in a Georgia uniform will be a tough test against Auburn. It might be safe to assume that Mathis will get the first crack at being the starter, however, despite the redshirt freshman's tough start to the season. 

"All I can tell you is that we're going to continue to work with all of the guys we've got to put the best guy in there that gives us the best opportunity to win the football games," Smart said, per Mark Schlabach of ESPN. "D'Wan did not play as bad as it seemed to some. I thought he did some good things watching the tape, and he had some unfortunate bad breaks that happened while he was in at quarterback."