ATHENS — The Georgia football team saw something Saturday it hadn’t in nearly two years: Isaiah Wynn out of the lineup.
The junior offensive lineman saw his 23-game starting streak end because of a sprained knee he incurred last week.
“We thought he would be available in emergency duty, but before the game we felt like he was not,” head coach Kirby Smart said. “So he probably would not have played.”
Fortunately for Georgia, the replacement was experienced. Junior Dyshon Sims had played in every game this year, including the rest of last week’s game at left guard after Wynn’s injury, which came in the first half.
“It helps tremendously. The one spot we could probably have an injury was there, and now we’re one spot away from being where it’s tough,” Smart said. “We want to get Isaiah back, obviously, we want to get him healthy. He was really eager to play. He worked really hard this week, harder than any kid I’ve been around with that injury, to want to be back for his teammates.”
Wynn did suit up for the game, as did defensive lineman DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle. But like Wynn, Hawkins-Muckle didn’t play, missing a third straight game with a high ankle sprain.
“He was closer. He was closer than he was the last two weeks,” Smart said of Hawkins-Muckle, who has started five games this year.
Inside linebacker Natrez Patrick (shoulder) and receivers Michael Chigbu (knee) and Jayson Stanley (foot) also missed the game. Smart wasn’t asked about them afterwards, but the fact Patrick was in uniform and the two receivers weren’t would indicate that Patrick is closer to being able to play next week.
Patrick may be the key player to get back next week against Georgia Tech. The sophomore inside linebacker was Georgia’s second-leading tackler before his injury, and performs well against the run. In fact, the first start of Patrick’s career came last year at Georgia Tech, so he’s used to facing the triple option.