TAMPA, Fla. — Instinct still tells Danny Ware to carry the football in his right arm. The small cast on freshman tailback’s right hand, however, reminds him to keep the ball on the left side.
“Just got to keep it over there,” Ware said. “It ain’t nothing impossible. It just gets on my nerves and I want to switch it over and I know can’t. I realize I have to keep it over in the left.”
The cast on Ware’s right hand is short enough that it can be covered with a conventional receivers glove, leaving his fingers free. Without knowing that Ware broke a bone in the hand during Georgia’s regular season finale against Georgia Tech, the cast would be hardly noticeable.
Ware has not missed a practice during Georgia’s preparations for its Outback Bowl matchup with Wisconsin and, despite the limitations, has not fumbled once in a practice. He also feels he can still be used as a receiver out of the backfield.
“I can catch,” Ware said. “It’s just cold. My hand starts hurting when it gets cold. When it is warm it is alright.”
“Danny Ware was an issue when he got hurt,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “I was concerned about him handling the football with the hand the way it is.
“He has just gotten in the habit of putting the ball underneath his left arm every time he touches it and it hasn’t come out yet.”
Ware should appreciate Saturday’s weather forecast. The temperature at kickoff is expected to be 72 degrees, rising to the upper 70s before game’s end.
Ware has 631 rushing yards and four touchdowns this season, averaging 5.0 yards per carry. He has also caught seven passes for 55 yards. Ware has played in nine games, starting eight, but missed two contests while battling lung problems and ankle and knee injuries.
“I just couldn’t even believe it. I was like not again,” Ware said of the hand injury. “I’ve been able to work through it and work with it so I guess it’s not all that bad.”
The recurrent injury problems, though, weighed on Ware initially.
“It did for a little bit at first but I got through it, got past it and realized that I could work with this hand like this,” he said.
Ware will share time with fellow freshman Thomas Brown Saturday. Brown has run for 794 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 games this season, including two starts.