It’s a scene no one wants to see, a player in pain after the play is over. One such play occurred this past Saturday in the third quarter of the Georgia Tech game when junior running back D’Andre Swift was on the field holding his left arm in obvious discomfort. Swift would eventually rise to his feet and walk back to the sideline but did not return to the game.
After the Bulldogs finished squashing the Yellow Jackets, 52-7, head coach Kirby Smart gave an update on the status of Swift during the postgame press conference.
“DeAndre Swift … I think he’s going to be fine, he’s got a shoulder contusion,” said Kirby. “And we think he’ll be fine, he should be back.”
But then during Monday’s UGA football press conference to begin SEC Championship game week, Coach Smart was a tad bit more reserved and not quite as positive on whether or not Swift would be able to play this Saturday.
“We’re hopeful that he’s going to be able to play,” said Kirby.
The latest on Swift came during Tuesday’s post-practice press conference when Kirby was asked if D’Andre was still on course in his recovery to be able to play Saturday.
”Yeah. I mean, he’s been out there, doing what we’ve asked him to do. He’s practicing,” said Kirby. “He’s just banged up, man. It’s tough, but he’s a warrior. He’s a fighter. We’re expecting him to be able to go. He’s practicing.”
One question on a lot of fans and media’s minds is exactly how Swift hurt his left arm and shoulder as it didn’t appear he got hit or landed on it. Kirby also answered that on Tuesday.
”We had that same question. According to him, it was earlier in the game when he injured it, and he continued to play with it,” said Kirby. “And then it just began to hurt more and more after that.
“That play was kind of the culmination of that, on that play, where it was bothering him more. He’s had a banged-up shoulder a lot of the year. I mean, Brian Herrien has had it. We’ve had a couple of players have similar injury that he has,” added Kirby.
“He’s played with it, dealt with it, and I don’t want to say it’s a common injury, but we have a lot of guys that have had that same injury in football. He’s been dealing with it well, and it came to a head Saturday. He had a couple of hits earlier where he did fall on it, and it bothered him.”
And if Swift is not able to suit up and play Saturday, senior Brian Herrien is one of the running backs that the Georgia coaching staff will be leaning on along with sophomore James Cook, redshirt freshman Zamir White, and true freshman Kenny McIntosh. Although Swift has been the Bulldogs’ primary tailback this season, carrying the ball 193 times for 1,203 yards and 7 touchdowns in 12 games, Cook, Herrien, McIntosh, and White have toted the ball 192 times for 1,078 yards and 12 touchdowns as a group.
Kirby was asked Monday how confident he was on the running backs not named “Swift” to get the job done.
“Very confident,” answered Kirby. “Zamir (White) had some good games and gotten to play more and more, we’re trying to find ways to use him. James (Cook) the same way, and Kenny (McIntosh) got to go in the game and did some good things the other day, so I feel very comfortable about the other guys. Obviously (D’Andre) Swift has a different skill set probably as a total package than all of them, and we want him to be in there, but we have got some depth at that position that we can use guys.”