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Chamberlain Smith/UGAAA
Richard LeCounte missed the Florida game for Georgia.

Georgia ‘hopeful’ for potential return of Richard LeCounte in 2020 season

You can tell that Georgia missed Richard LeCounte’s impact on Saturday against the Florida Gators. All the evidence you really need is the fact that Georgia gave up 474 passing yards, the most ever for a Kirby Smart team since he became the head coach at Georgia.

“It was definitely a little bit different,” safety Christopher Smith said. “Richard is a leader on our defense.”

Cornerback Eric Stokes offered a similar message to that of Smith.

“Not having Richard was a big thing,” Stokes said. “He’s just really one of our big leaders and all that stuff, on and off the field. It was the communication that we really messed up on, that we really hounded ourselves about.”

Smith served as the replacement for LeCounte in the game. Georgia also had to replace its other starting safety in Lewis Cine as he was ejected from the game due to a targeting penalty. He was replaced by Major Burns.

Smith offered up some of what LeCounte told the Georgia defensive backs going into the game.

“He kind of had a message for the whole defensive back group, just telling us that we can go out there and do it,” Smith said.

LeCounte missed the game after injuries he sustained during a dirt bike accident following the Kentucky game. CBS reported on Saturday that LeCounte was expected to miss the next 4-to-5 weeks due to the injuries he sustained.

Georgia wouldn’t put the same timetable on LeCounte’s return but Georgia coach Kirby Smart was optimistic about eventually seeing the senior safety on the field again.

“We’re hopeful,” Smart said. “It’s more when he heals right now. He’s getting more exercise now. He’s able to do some things on the bike. He’s still got some open wounds, so he’s not able to get up and train, which we’re hoping we’ll be able to get him in the pool before the end of this week.”

LeCounte has still been around the team and speaking with teammates. Smith spoke with LeCounte after the game and said that he just needed to do more to help out the secondary.

LeCounte was active on social media during the game, celebrating Eric Stokes’ interception return for a touchdown.

Smart shared some additional details on what LeCounte has been up to since leaving the hospital last Tuesday.

“He’s been out at practice. He enjoys being around at the meetings,” Smart said. “He’s making his way back to more normalcy, but whether or not he makes it back depends on how long the season goes.”

Related: Missouri ‘pretty confident’ it knows who it will see at QB

Georgia may have gotten an extension on its season on Wednesday, with Georgia’s game against Missouri postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak with the Tigers. No make-up game has been announced, as Missouri already has a game set for Dec. 12 against Vanderbilt.

Dec. 19 could be a possible date for the Bulldogs. The SEC championship game is scheduled for that day as well.

Related: Georgia football game at Missouri postponed

Georgia’s next game as currently scheduled is against Mississippi State on Nov. 21.

Christopher Smith shares insights on Richard LeCounte, Georgia secondary

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