ATHENS — Georgia heads into spring practice with a number of nagging injuries, including enough at one position that depth will be a big concern.
Inside linebackers Reggie Carter (shoulder) and Roquan Smith (left wrist), both potential starters, will not be ready for at least the early part of spring practice. Carter only played one game last season before taking a medical redshirt. He will be a junior this year, while Smith will be a sophomore.
Shaun McGee, a senior who moved to inside linebacker last season for depth purposes, had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and will also be limited this spring. So that takes away three players at a position that lost starter Jake Ganus, the team’s MVP last year.
“They’re not out, but they’re not completely in either,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “Now that scares me a little bit, because it’s not a position of great depth anyway at inside linebacker.”
The healthy bodies at inside linebacker still include sophomore Natrez Patrick, who started at inside linebacker in the bowl game, senior Tim Kimbrough, who was a starter last year but was suspended for the bowl (he’s back now) and sophomore Juwan Taylor, who finished last season as a second-teamer.
The outside linebacker position will also be missing a probable contributor: Senior Chuks Amaechi had his labrum repaired and will be “very limited.” He will not participate in contact practices.
On the offensive side, the Nick Chubb injury is the major one, but there’s another tailback who’s hobbled. Tailback Brendan Douglas, who hurt his wrist before the TaxSlayer Bowl, could be able to participate in contact later in the spring. He will be in a cast and, Smart indicated, be able to practice a bit right away.