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

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

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart says Brock Bowers is dealing with a shoulder injury that led to him coming out of the Orange Bowl CFP Semifinal on Friday night.

Bowers led the Bulldogs with 6 catches for 68 yards and an opening touchdown that sparked Georgia to a 34-11 victory over Michigan at Hard Rock Stadium.

“He’s had a shoulder for a couple of weeks,” Smart said of the 6-foot-4, 230-pound freshman, who exited the game after making just one catch in the second half.

“We’ve had him practicing in a black jersey limiting his contact some.”

The Bulldogs will likely keep Bowers out of contact drills this week as they begin preparation for their Jan. 10 rematch with Alabama in the CFP Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

That won’t be by Bowers’ choice, Smart indicated.

The FWAA Freshman of the Year finalist -- Ohio State QB CJ Stroud and Oklahoma State DE Collin Oliver are the others -- was lobbying to get back into Friday night’s game even after a trip to the sideline medical tent.

“He’s a tough dude, man, he’s a warrior,” Smart said. “He wanted to get back in there tonight, and we just didn’t let him.”

Bowers’ first-quarter TD catch was his 12th of the season, breaking a tie he was in with former Georgia receiver Terrence Edwards for most touchdown catches in a season.

Bowers’ six receptions against Michigan give him a new Georgia tight end single-season mark of 53 while expanding his tight end record for single-season receiving yardage to 859.

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