ATHENS — Kirby Smart made sure no mistake would be made about the state of the Georgia football team as it pertains to the injury situation.
Georgia is in the meat-grinder portion of its schedule and a number of key faces on the team are facing uncertainty due to injury.
“We’ve got several guys out there where it’s been tough,” Smart said. “We’ve got some guys who were beat up in that last game, and they’re hurting a little bit. It’s one of those where we have ‘next man up’ mentality.”
Georgia already knows it is going to be without Jalen Carter this week, as the defensive lineman is dealing with an MCL injury.
Related: Kirby Smart on Jalen Carter’s injury and the events that came before it: ‘We don’t condone it’
Another key starter may not be available, as Smart did not project optimism when speaking about inside linebacker Smael Mondon. The sophomore missed a chunk of the Missouri game with an ankle injury.
“Smael is struggling a little bit,” Smart said. “I guess he played on adrenaline because he did go back into the game and play, but he’s been hurting a little bit. He’s been in a brace, but he’s been able to practice some.”
Mondon is third on the team in tackles with 22, 3.5 of which have gone for a loss. In the event that Mondon can’t play, look for Trezmen Marshall and Xavian Sorey Jr. to see an uptick in snaps.
On the defensive side, Chaz Chambliss is dealing with a hamstring injury. That is why he did not make the trip with the team to Missouri. Smart did say the injury was not as serious as Nyland Green’s hamstring injury, which say miss three games.
Smart clarified that Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins was not dealing with any injury and that practice performance was the reason he did not play against Missouri. Georgia is also expecting to get Javon Bullard back against Auburn after he missed the game against Missouri following an arrest.
“The great thing about Javon is that he competed,” Smart said. “He was down there going as hard as anybody, and I think that is very indicative of his character and what he stands for. He practices really hard regardless of what his role is. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do that and not skip a beat.”
On the offensive side of the ball, things appear to be much better. Smart indicated the Bulldogs will get AD Mitchell back in some capacity. The star wide receiver has not played since the Samford game due to an ankle injury.
“He hit some good speeds yesterday in conditioning and did some cuts,” Smart said. “I didn’t get to see him practice as much today because I was with the defense, but he went in some of the scout periods. I’ll get to watch his tape. It looks very promising from him yesterday in terms of what I saw from him running. I don’t know how much the role will be, but we’ll see.”
Smart added that running back Kenny McIntosh is doing very well. He picked up a thigh injury in the Kent State win and was able to battle through it against Missouri. He led Georgia in rushing in the game but was limited to just one reception. It was a season-low for McIntosh in that department.
Georgia will take the field against Auburn at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. CBS will broadcast the game.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart updates injury situation