Wishing KM and JSW the best of luck and a Good Quality Recovery. Also hoping that MB can recover quickly and return before the regular season is over.
As expected, Mark Richt was the bearer of bad news on his weekly teleconference with the media Sunday afternoon.
The Georgia coach confirmed that both sophomore tailback Keith Marshall and sophomore receiver Justin Scott-Wesley are out for the rest of the 2013 season, after suffering torn ACLs in the overtime win over Tennessee Saturday. And as for junior wide receiver Michael Bennett, Richt said Bennett’s injured knee will be scoped on Tuesday to see how much damage he sustained in the game. Richt said Bennett of course won’t be suiting out this week against the Missouri Tigers.
“It is the (longest injury list) as far as the number of guys, especially guys who were playing significant roles,” said Richt, adding that the playing status of the three Bulldogs who didn’t see action against the Vols − Todd Gurley, Tray Matthews and Connor Norman − is pretty much uncertain at the moment and is a day-to-day proposition to see if the three will play against the Tigers Saturday. Of star tailback Gurley’s chances of being over the high ankle sprain by the noon game, Richt said it’s still a 50-50 deal.
“This (the rash of injuries) is sad for our players,” said Richt. “To see them work so hard to get in position to play for Georgia, to realize how much work they’ve put in and how hard they play and then know one play like that can take it away from them, it’s heartbreaking. I don’t know what’s worse, the pain from the injury or the pain of knowing you’re not getting to play again,” he said.
Richt touched on other subjects during the teleconference, as follows:
That he didn’t think that it was a bad turf issue in Neyland Stadium that maybe contributed to the Bulldogs’ injuries.
That he’s not sure whether freshman receiver Tramel Terry would be able to play and help the Bulldogs’ receiving corps, after reporting to campus with an injury he sustained in the South Carolina-North Carolina all-star game. “We’re still trying to figure that out. We don’t know. He would be available … I don’t know how … I know he’s not as healthy …. I just think the longer he practices coming back from his injury, the better he’ll be. Is he really ready for this type of competition? I don’t know, and the fact that he hasn’t had a lot of offensive reps with our first unit, he’s been working scout team reps and he’s a freshman so it’s hard to really be ready in all the ways that you have to be ready, not only physically but knowing the game-plan and having the experience of running the routes and playing in games like that. I’m not counting him out but I really don’t have the answer right now,” Richt said.
That freshman tailback A.J. Turman actually traveled with the team to Tennessee but whether his possible redshirt status would be changed would depend on Gurley’s returning to the lineup in the upcoming games. “You usually don’t go beyond three (tailbacks) and we like our two freshman backs (J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas) and we also have Harton and Karempelis. But the last thing we want to do is rush Todd back.”
That junior college transfer receiver Jonathon Rumph, the star of the G-Day game, is still fighting his hamstring injury and is probably doubtful to see action in the Missouri game. “But after that, we need to try and get him ready.”
That J.J. Green is doing as well as he is (129 yards vs. Vols) because of the fact he was a mid-year enrollee who got to participate in spring practice. “If he hadn’t come in January and been here in the spring, I don’t even know if he would be a tailback right now.”
That Missouri is bringing a very good football team between the hedges on Saturday. “They’re just playing at a lot higher level this year,” said Richt. “The quarterback (James Franklin) is playing better. They have big, physical receivers but they also run the ball well. I think they had about 550 yards (in 51-28 win over Vanderbilt). And I respect their defense, too. I’m not surprised to see them jump into the poll (at No. 25). They’re unbeaten and playing really good football.”
That he’s not worried about Georgia slipping a spot to No. 7 in the national rankings. “As far as where we are, it doesn’t really matter right now. What matters to us is scoring some points in this upcoming game and trying to slow Missouri down.”