ATLANTA — Georgia football has endured an injury-riddled first half in the SEC Championship Game against LSU at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The Tigers lead 17-3 at halftime in a game UGA must win to have any chance at making the College Football Playoff.
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart made this declaration to CBS Sports at halftime: “Dom’s down, Kearis is down. We’ve got a couple other guys banged up. But these kids are fighters, they’ll come out and fight.”
Georgia tailback D’Andre Swift, who suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday against Georgia Tech, did not start and played sparingly in the first half.
Swift, UGA’s leading rusher with 1,203 yards entering Saturday’s game, had just one carry that failed to gain a yard and caught three passes for 18 yards.
It appeared UGA was avoiding using Swift on runs between the tackles, where he has frequently carried the load.
The Bulldogs lost freshman receiver Dominick Blaylock in the first quarter to what appeared to be a serious left knee injury.
Smart indicated at halftime that receiver Kearis Jackson is also injured. Jackson left the game with an ankle injury.
Freshman receiver George Pickens was suspended for the first half of the game on account of his fight last Saturday against Georgia Tech and can rejoin the team in the second half.
It proved to be a very costly suspension to the team, as leading receiver Lawrence Cager was already out after undergoing ankle surgery on Nov. 29.
Sophomore linebacker Quay Walker left the SEC Championship Game with a shoulder injury in the first quarter, per a UGA sideline report.
Quarterback Jake Fromm appeared to suffer an ankle injury in the second quarter when he was sacked and rolled up on by Tigers safety Grant Delpit, but Fromm returned to the game on the next series.
Fromm was 10-of-20 passing for 117 yards with an interception that occurred when LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. smartly played a back shoulder fade intended for Tyler Simmons.
Georgia defensive tackles Michel Barnett and Devonte Wyatt both left the game with what appeared to be lower-body injuries.
Barnett went down with his injury with 4:52 left in the second quarter.
Wyatt left the game on the next series at the 1:15 mark.