Georgia Southern vs. Georgia: Austin Long takes on more prominent role for Bulldogs

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The importance of Long has increased since Chris Burnette's injury.

Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Austin Long is now the team's top reserve. After starting guard Chris Burnette suffered an injury, former reserve Mark Beard was inserted into a starting role, which left Long to be the rotating sixth man for the Bulldogs.

"Austin was going to play early going into the (Auburn) game," offensive line coach Will Friend said. "He was going to play. He had a couple of good weeks in practice."

Long, who is a junior, hadn't spent much time on the field for Georgia prior to the 2012 season. in 2010, he was a member of the scout team, and he appeared in just two games last season.

Burnette was sidelined by an injury suffered during Georgia's win against Ole Miss on Nov. 3, and while his status is up in the air, head coach Mark Richt said that Burnette has been making progress.

The Bulldogs' game against Georgia Southern begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

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