Independence Day in Bulldog Nation took a sour turn Monday evening.
Rumors began circulating online Monday afternoon about a possible injury for star running back Sony Michel. A little after 7:30 p.m., UGA confirmed that Michel fractured his left forearm in an accident Sunday evening. It is believed that the accident occurred away from the football field, purportedly while riding an ATV.
It appeared Isaiah McKenzie got the rumors started by posting a picture of Michel on Instagram, along with a cryptic caption that simply read, “Get well soon.”
When Monday rolled around, Michel underwent successful surgery at Athens Regional Medical Center. UGA’s senior associate athletic director for sports medicine, Ron Courson, expects Michel to make a full recovery, according to the statement released by the university.
Michel joins Nick Chubb on the Bulldogs’ tailback injury list. Chubb, of course, tore multiple ligaments in his left knee on the first play from scrimmage against Tennessee last season. After Chubb went down, Michel took over as the team’s No. 1 tailback.
In total, Michel carried the ball 219 times last season for 1,161 yards. He ran for eight touchdowns. Michel proved his versatility, too, by racking up 270 receiving yards – third-most on the squad – and three receiving touchdowns.
UGA did not provide a timetable for Michel’s recovery. It’s worth noting that Georgia is a little over eight weeks out from its season opener against North Carolina. With both Chubb and Michel on the shelf, the starting tailback for that game is uncertain.
Brendan Douglas, a senior, seems like the most logical first-team running back if neither Chubb nor Michel can play. Tae Crowder, Elijah Holyfield, Brian Herrien and recently-converted Shaquery Wilson are all options for the Bulldogs, too.
Georgia will probably be fine even if Michel can’t play, but Georgia fans everywhere hate to see one of their favorites go down. I’m sure we all wish Michel a speedy recovery.