Kirby Smart shares why it was important for Arik Gilbert to travel for Georgia football

Georgia football-Arik Gilbert-Kirby Smart-Missouri
Georgia tight end Arik Gilbert catches a breath during G-Day. Jeff Sentell photo.
Jeff Sentell / Dawgn

Arik Gilbert was a curious inclusion for Georgia’s travel roster for the Missouri game.

The tight end did not dress out for the contest against the Tigers yet still made the lengthy trip with the team to Columbia, Mo. He did not travel with Georgia to its first SEC road game against South Carolina and Kirby Smart had told reporters Gilbert was day-to-day in the run-up to the game.

Related: Complete travel roster for the Georgia football game against Missouri

Gilbert has not played since the game against Samford and does not yet have a catch this year.

Still, the Bulldogs have plans for Gilbert as Smart explained on Monday.

“The thing is to keep him with us. We’re trying to develop him and bring him along,” Smart said. “It’s important that he’s with us in terms of meetings, walk-throughs, being there with us, being with the team, being a part of the connection. He’s got a great rapport with the players and that’s why he was there.”

Related: Kirby Smart updates Arik Gilbert status with Georgia football team

Georgia had just four active tight ends for the game against the Tigers, as Brock Bowers, Darnell Washington, Oscar Delp and Ryland Goede all made the trip. Bowers and Washington were Georgia’s top two pass catchers against the Tigers, amassing 129 yards on eight combined catches.

Bowers and Washinton were the only tight ends to play on Saturday, with Bowers’ 71 snaps being tops among the Georgia skill players. Washington was on the field for 47 plays.

Georgia won’t have to worry about any roster limits this week as Auburn comes to Athens. Gilbert did dress in Georgia’s home game against Kent State but did not enter the game.

The game against the Tigers is set for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff, with CBS airing the game

Kirby Smart explains why it was important for Arik Gilbert to make the trip to Missouri

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