Georgia football will miss George Pickens, but it doesn’t end their season.
Once again the Georgia football team looks to be snake-bitten. On Tuesday afternoon Junior-wide receiver George Pickens injured his knee on a non-contact play. Injuries like this are the worst because they almost always mean there was an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament. Which is exactly what this has turned out to be.
Here is the official statement from the University of Georgia:
“George Pickens, a junior wide receiver from Hoover, AL, injured his right knee in spring football practice on a non-contact play on Tuesday afternoon. MRI confirmed an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which will require surgery. He has already started his pre-op rehabilitation program under the supervision of the UGAAA sports medicine staff and a full recovery is anticipated.
“The good news is that the MRI showed it to be an isolated injury with no other structures involved,” said UGA head coach Kirby Smart. “George is a hard worker. I know he will bring the same work ethic to rehab that he shows in practice every day.”
Pickens has injured his ACL and will require surgery. However, all is not lost. Early indications are that Pickens could be back by December or January just in time for Georgia football to play for the SEC Championship and go on a College Football Playoff run. Even if Pickens doesn’t make it back this season that doesn’t mean Georgia’s season is over.
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Kirby Smart has recently loaded Georgia football’s cupboard with wide receivers. Even if Pickens was arguably the most talented of the bunch that doesn’t mean Georgia doesn’t have some other studs that could break out this season.
Jermaine Burton is at the top of that list. Burton is a superstar in the making. He and quarterback JT Daniels were able to get into a rhythm in the last four games of the 2020 season. That bodes well for Georgia football’s offense seeing as Burton will now most likely be leaned on as WR1. With Daniels at quarterback Burton caught 16 of 24 targets for 265 yards and two touchdowns.
Burton wasn’t the only solid receiver for Georgia football last season, Kearis Jackson also showed himself to be trustworthy when targeted. Daniels was able to hook up with him nine times on 13 targets for 118 yards and a touchdown. Jackson was expected to be Georgia’s starting slot receiver in 2021, but he showed last year that he is more than capable of lining up on the outside.
Speaking of the slot, that is where you most-likely could see Dominick Blaylock make his return. The junior receiver out of Marietta, Ga has been rehabbing and trying to come back from his own ACL injury. However, if he isn’t 100 percent it is possible that Arian Smith, a receiver with world-class speed, gets the not to get a majority of the snaps at slot receiver. That is if his blocking improves.
That is just four of the plethora of receiving threats Georgia football’s offense has at its disposal. There are also Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, Justin Robinson, Demetris Robertson, and Ladd McConkey. At the tight end position, they have Darnell Washington, Brock Bowers, and John Fitzpatrick. Georgia has more than enough talent to get through this.
Losing George Pickens is a huge blow, no one would deny that, but it is not the end of Georgia’s season, by far. Injuries are something that comes with playing football. A team that expects to win a lot of games has to be prepared for that. This is why recruiting at a high level is so important. This is why Coach Smart makes the big bucks. Time for him and Todd Monken to show what they can do with all this talent they have accrued.
Let’s all just back off the ledge and let these coaches and kids get to work. The season hasn’t even started and it is far from over.