Georgia football injury update: Kirby Smart reveals 2 young stars dealing with ailments

Georgia wide receiver Arian Smith (11) during the Bulldogs’ practice scrimmage session in Athens, Ga., on Sat., Aug. 21, 2021. (Photo by Mackenzie Miles)
Mackenzie Miles

Georgia coach Kirby Smart is not in any hurry to issue an injury report to Clemson with the season-opening game less than two weeks away.

So when media dutifully asked Smart to update the injury status of some of the Bulldogs’ more high profile players, Smart’s response was “We are hopeful to get those guys back soon — that is the plan with really all of the guys that are injured.”

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Georgia has had no less than 8 projected starters miss parts of scrimmage or practice this fall on account of injuries, including receivers Jermaine Burton, Kearis Jackson, Arik Gilbert, George Pickens and Dominick Blaylock.

Burton and Jackson returned to practice last week and took part in the second scrimmage.

RELATED: What comes next at receiver with Arik Gilbert out indefinitely

Smart said Saturday that “we won’t have an injury where there are guys out for a long amount of time.”

Asked specifically about tight end John Fitzpatrick, Gilbert and Blaylock, Smart said “Each one is a different situation, but I expect to be full tilt when Clemson comes, when it comes time to play.”

The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs and No. 3-ranked Tigers play at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

Smart revealed Saturday two of the younger, more promising players have also been dealing with injuries that have limited them at times, freshman offensive tackle Amarius Mims and second-year receiver Arian Smith.

“Arian, coming from track, he missed some of the summer workouts, and we had to shut him down and not do everything,” Smart said. “He’s bounced back; he’s been battling a couple of injuries the last couple of weeks. He’s had some turf toe injuries, a toe-nail that got stepped on it was just bad, really bad. But he’s missed a little time.”

Smith, an SEC track star who sources say ran a 4.21-second time in the 40-yard dash this summer, took part in both fall scrimmages and was highlighted in a team video.

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Mims, a former 5-star recruit expected to grow into a starter, has also been limited.

“Amarius missed some time, so it’s been a tougher progress with him,” Smart said. “Amarius is getting better, but he has some lower back issues, spasms, so he’s had to sit out of some practice time. Not necessarily a whole practice. He hasn’t gotten the reps, and you need lots of reps, but he’s going to grow into a really talented player.”

Smart said last Wednesday that defensive back Tykee Smith and tight end Darnell Washington, two projected starters who underwent surgery last week, are “day to day.”

Unofficial injury/availabilty report:

TE Darnell Washington (foot)

DB Tykee Smith (foot/ankle)

C Warren Ericson (hand)

WR Arik Gilbert (personal)

TE John FitzPatrick (foot)

WR Dominick Blaylock (knee)

WR George Pickens (knee)

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