November 24, 2012; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Malcolm Mitchell (26) returns a kick off in the first half against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

How big of a blow is the Malcolm Mitchell injury to the Georgia Bulldogs?

You have to feel bad for Georgia wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell. It doesn’t seem like the guy can catch a break anywhere near as well as he can catch a football.

As reported by our partners over at, Mitchell injured his knee during a practice and had to have minor arthroscopic surgery on the same knee that he tore the ACL last season during the opening game against Clemson.

As of today, there is no timetable for when Mitchell can return to action.

“Minor arthroscopic” is a relative term. Any knee surgery is a concern, and in particular when it’s on a knee that has a repaired ACL. And if this does turn into something that will sideline Mitchell for any amount of the season, it could have a big effect on Georgia’s offense.

Mark Richt has some depth at wide receiver on this team, with Chris Conley and Michael Bennett looked at as the two big guns when Mitchell isn’t an option. Jonathon Rumph has come on at times, and could step up to a bigger role. Speedster Justin Scott-Wesley is coming back from a season-ending injury of his own, so until the Dawgs get deeper into practices they won’t really know what they’ve got from him.

But even with those players available, the Bulldogs will still miss Mitchell if he’s not able to play for any amount of time. He’s a can be a game-changer on the field.

Georgia has three incoming freshman at wide receiver that could be utilized. One of them is Rico Johnson, who was just switched from wide receiver to defensive back earlier in the week. That decision may now have to be rethought, or in the very least, to have to option to play him as a wideout when needed. Georgia’s secondary is much more tattered than the wide receiver corps, so Richt and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt may just keep Johnson on the back-burner as a potential replacement wide receiver.

There are two other incoming freshmen – Shakenneth Williams and Isaiah McKenzie – who are both highly touted, and could very well step in and start performing very early. But it’s doubtful either of them is as good of a route runner or as dynamic as Malcolm Mitchell.

So how big of a blow is this to the Bulldogs? In truth, even if its something that only sidelines Mitchell for a game or two, it’s still a blow. Not an overhand right knockout, but one of those troubling body blows that can weaken you when too many are delivered.

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