It’s evident that Georgia’s offensive line is one the best in the country, and it’s clear that despite injuries Georgia O-Line coach Sam Pittman‘s squad can call the next man up if needed.
During the 2018 season, Georgia only had five of their starters on the offensive line play all 14 games of the season without injury. Andrew Thomas, Ben Cleveland, Solomon Kindley and Lamont Gaillard all missed at least one game last season.
Against Notre Dame, it seemed like Georgia was reliving a horror from last season when left guard Solomon Kindley got injured in the first half. In Kindley’s absence, Justin Shaffer came in to relieve his duties. Cade Mays didn’t get the start, but after Kindley’s injury, Wilson moved to right tackle causing Mays and Cleveland to rotate in at right guard.
The rotation didn’t seem to cause Georgia any trouble, and Andrew Thomas agreed.
“I think it just shows our talent across the board,” Thomas said. “When somebody goes down, we have somebody just as good, maybe even better, that can come in and do their job pretty well.”
Thomas also admitted that he wasn’t surprised that it didn’t affect the team because apparently that’s the way Pittman prepares his position group in practice. He also wasn’t shocked that Shaffer played so well when he got the call.
“He kind of reminds me of Solomon,” Thomas said about Shaffer. “How physical he plays in the run game. He’s a big body that’s athletic, so when he comes next to me and we’re double-teaming, guys just move easily.”
The depth of Georgia’s offensive line works in their favor, and if they stay healthy for the rest of the season then the Bulldogs could benefit from that production. If any more injuries occur Georgia does have the depth to replace the player at that position on the offensive line.
“When somebody comes in, something happens, just bringing the offensive line group together,” Thomas said. “Saying, ‘The ship keeps rolling. Regardless of what happens, we’ve got to do our job.'”