Darnell Washington, injured Georgia football players update how they’re feeling for National Championship
LOS ANGELES — The Georgia Bulldogs are making their final preparations for Monday night’s game against TCU. And a number of injured Georgia standouts are doing all they can to get onto the field.
The biggest name, both physically and from an importance standpoint is tight end Darnell Washington. He picked up an ankle injury in the second quarter of the win over Ohio State, leaving the game and not returning.
Washington told DawgNation that he is feeling better and has not been wearing a boot on his injured ankle since at least Wednesday. But as far as playing, he said that decision was out of his hands. Georgia coach Kirby Smart has indicated that he’s hopeful to have Washington, a common refrain on injured players this season.
“When I got a chance to go back out there(to the field) I was down,” Washington said. “I wanted to play, clearly. I think we were down by two possessions at the time and I just wanted to play. It was hard to see them go through that. I’m glad they went through it, fought and came out with the victory. I’m proud of them.”
On the season, Washington has caught 27 passes for 426 yards. If he is unable to go, expect tight end Oscar Delp to see an uptick in snaps. He filled in for Washington in the win over Ohio State, playing 21 snaps.
Washington was not the only Bulldog to leave the win over Ohio State, as Chaz Chambliss left the game with a knee injury. The outside linebacker noted that he felt good, offering up a response similar to that of Washington.
“Mentally, just try to get myself and my body ready for this game,” Chambliss said.
Related: Kirby Smart counting on young players as Georgia football faces ‘biggest test of all’
If Chambliss is unable to play, a larger load will fall to the shoulders of Robert Beal in terms of defensive responsibilities. Marvin Jones and Jalon Walker will also see an uptick in snaps, with Jones taking up some of Chambliss’ special teams duties.
“The whole room is focused as always,” Chambliss said. “It’s always a next-man mentality.”
Offensive tackle Warren McClendon seems much closer to contributing this week than he did last week. McClendon’s only snap in the win over Ohio State came on the kneel-down. His focus this week has been getting back into game shape. McClendon picked up a knee injury in the SEC championship game win over LSU on Dec. 3.
Smart was much more positive when speaking about McClendon on Friday.
“He’s been working,” Smart said. “He’s felt a lot better this week in terms of what he’s been able to do compared to previous weeks.”
Wide receiver Ladd McConkey was able to play in GEorgia’s win over the Buckeyes. He’s been battling knee injuries all season and had just two receptions in the Peach Bowl. But he came down with a clutch two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to pull Georgia within three points.
“It was a good feeling,” McConkey said of his play. “That was off Arian (Smith)h’s touchdown, so that was a huge play. Just going out there and making a play when they want me to.”
Smart and TCU coach Sonny Dykes will address the media one final time on Sunday before Monday’s game. Both teams will practice on Saturday, with Georgia’s being held at SoFi Stadium on Saturday afternoon. That is where Monday’s game will be played, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Georgia football injury report for 2023 National Championship game
- Andrew Paul (knee, out)
- CJ Washington (neck, out)
- Dan Jackson (foot, out)
- Earnest Greene (back, out)
- Drew Bobo (labrum, out)
- CJ Smith (ankle, out)
- Nolan Smith (Pec, out)
- Chaz Chambliss (knee, questionable)
- Darnell Washington (ankle, questionable
- Warren McClendon (knee, questionable)
- De’Nylon Morrissette (knee/hamstring, questionable)
- Ladd McConkey (knee, probable)
- Marvin Jones Jr. (ankle, probable)
- AD Mitchell (ankle, probable)
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- Peyton Woodyard: Decision day is here for the nation’s No. 2 junior safety at The All-American Bowl
- Kirby Smart provides positive health update on Warren McClendon as team arrives in Los Angeles
- Georgia’s ‘Uga’ mascot will miss championship game
- TCU’s Sonny Dykes updates Kendre Miller status at arrival, ready to focus on Georgia
- Kirk Herbstreit eager to see if Stetson Bennett gets to ‘write this final chapter the way he wants’
- TCU coach Sonny Dykes braces for Georgia ‘playmakers,’ respects Todd Monken