Georgia football-Brock Bowers-Nick Saban
Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is tackled by Michigan defensive back Rod Moore during the first half of the Orange Bowl NCAA College Football Playoff semifinal game, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Rebecca Blackwell

Kirby Smart updates injury status of Brock Bowers as Nick Saban labels Georgia tight end as ‘one of the premier players in college football’

When Kirby Smart was asked about freshman tight end Brock Bowers on Monday, he spent time assuring reporters that Bowers was fine.

It was learned after Georgia’s star tight end has been dealing a shoulder injury that will require further attention after the season. But for next Monday’s game against Alabama, Georgia will have Bowers available.

Related: Brock Bowers leaves Orange Bowl with shoulder injury, Kirby Smart updates

“It’s not like it’s something new that just came up. It bothers him from time to time at practice,” Smart said. “He’s a football player. It’s not going to go away in season. A lot of our guys are dealing with that.”

Saban similarly was asked about Bowers. When the two teams met in the SEC championship game, Bowers was Georgia’s best player as he caught 10 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown.

The Alabama coach gave a gushing review of Bowers, demonstrating his importance to this Georgia team.

“I think this guy is one of the premier players in college football,” Saban said. “I know he’s just a freshman. But this guy’s got great size. He’s a good blocker. He’s physical. He’s tough. And he’s got wide receiver skills in every way, shape or form, which makes it difficult being a bigger guy for bigger guys to cover him and it makes it also difficult for smaller guys to cover him.

“So this guy is just a phenomenal football player all the way around.”

Bowers is still in the midst of a record-setting year for the Bulldogs. His 59 catches, 859 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches are all tops for a player under Kirby Smart. His 12 touchdown catches in a season are actually a program record for touchdown catches in a season. Not just for a tight end but all players.

“I think the key is just paying attention to his playing style and making sure we do a great job of covering him and making sure he doesn’t get too loose,” linebacker Will Anderson said. “And the game plan we put in we just play our game and just make it as effective as it can be.”

The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide will meet in Indianapolis on Jan. 10. The two teams will practice in Athens and Tuscaloosa this week before arriving on Friday. Kick off is set for 8 p.m. ET and ESPN will broadcast the game.

Kirby Smart updates status of Brock Bowers

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