Georgia fans received the news they feared today about star tight end Brock Bowers. The Bulldog standout will miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his ankle.
The Brock Bowers for Heisman campaign came to an abrupt end today, as did the hopes Georgia fans had that their beloved tight end might be back after the bye week.
Per multiple sources, Bowers will undergo tight-rope surgery on his injured left ankle. Best case scenario, he could return in a limited capacity in three weeks, but a more reasonable estimate is 4-6 weeks without Bowers on the field.
This couldn’t have come at a worse time, with Georgia about to enter into the meatiest part of their schedule. The Bulldogs will now have to face Flordia, Ole Miss, Missouri, and Tennessee – all teams with winning records and designs on making an appearance in the SEC Championship Game.
What does the loss of Brock Bowers mean for Georgia and the Bulldog Nation?
The immediate impact of Bowers being out is the obvious loss of production at the receiver position. Even as a tight end, Bowers was the team’s leader in receptions (41), receiving yards (567) and touchdowns (4).
The closest in stats to Bowers is wide receiver Dominic Lovett with 31 receptions for 282 yards and a touchdown.
Make no mistake, this is an impactful hole created by the loss of Bowers.
The Dawgs will also miss Bowers’ versatility, both as a blocker and a runner. He’s Georgia’s version of the Swiss Army Knife, and defenses had to account for him regardless of where or how he lined up in the formation.
In terms of the fans, it’s almost certain the Bowers has played his final game at Sanford Stadium. Even if he were to return at the earliest projections, that would come against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium, followed by the regular season finale against Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
Unless this injury sends his draft stock tumbling (which is unlikely) Bowers will more than likely enter the NFL Draft after this season.
It’s sad to think we’ll never get to see him running onto Dooley Field as an active player again.
Can Georgia replace Brock Bowers numbers?
Let’s be honest. Brock Bowers is a generational player, and we won’t likely see someone with his on-field charisma and talent for quite some time. So, what can Georgia do without him on the field?
Starting with the other experienced tight end on the roster – Oscar Delp – there is still a lot of talent to be used.
If Bowers wasn’t a Bulldog, Oscar Delp would probably have been getting a lot more targets. He’s a 4-star player and comes in at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. He’s got great hands, runs solid routes, and is an excellent blocker. He lacks Bowers’ speed and ability to create huge gains after the catch, but Georgia won’t be losing much in terms of someone to target.
Delp — along with Cade Brock, Lawson Luckie, and the rest of the tight end stable — should be able to step in and create enough stats in the aggregate to make up for a lot of what Georgia is losing in Bowers.
At wide receiver, this is a chance for veterans Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint and Ladd McConkey to pick up a lot of extra catches. Jacksaint has the speed to run by practically any defensive back when needed, and McConkey — who was one of Stetson Bennett’s favorite targets — always seems to know where to be when a big play is needed.
In the end, replacing Bowers will be next to impossible, but Georgia has enough talent to find ways to offset what has been lost. This isn’t Kirby Smart’s first rodeo in replacing a key player.