If the Georgia Bulldogs are going to win a national title under Kirby Smart, there might not be a better opportunity than the 2021 season.
The returning talent is in place — or it’s supposed to be. The continuity is there with the coaching staff, especially with Todd Monken returning for a second season. They just need to avoid any sort of catastrophic issues.
Apparently, that’s easier said than done, as injuries seem to be mounting for the Dawgs.
J.C. Shelton with UGA Wire recently listed those who are injured, and let’s just say it’s not pretty. To make matters worse, this is a top 5 team that has to face off against No. 2 Clemson in the opening week of the season. Georgia needs to be as close to full strength as possible.
Check out this list from Shelton:
- TE Darnell Washington (foot)
- DB Tykee Smith (foot/ankle)
- OL Warren Ericson (hand)
- CB Jalen Kimber (shoulder)
- TE John FitzPatrick (foot)
- OL Owen Condon (Unknown)
- WR Dominick Blaylock (ACL)
- WR George Pickens (ACL)
Washington and Smith were just added to the list on Wednesday. Josh Pate with 247Sports says they’re expected to miss 3-4 weeks minimum, putting their playing status against the Tigers in serious jeopardy.
UGA sources: Darnell Washington & Tykee Smith are each expected to miss 3-4 weeks minimum with foot injuries sustained in practice yesterday.
Unlikely to be available vs Clemson.
— Josh Pate (@LateKickJosh) August 18, 2021
And the list doesn’t even include the newly added wide receiver/tight end Arik Gilbert, who is currently away from the team working through some personal issues. Despite converting to wide receiver following a slew of injuries at the position, Gilbert is actually a tight end. With Washington and FitzPatrick out, the former LSU star would’ve likely made a temporary move back to TE, but we’re not sure if he’ll be available either.
The good news for Georgia is that a Week 1 loss to a top 5 team out of conference wouldn’t be a dagger for their season, but it would get the season off to a shaky start and put a tremendous amount of pressure on this team for the remainder of the year.
Hopefully they’re able to get some of those guys back soon.
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Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.