ATHENS — It sure sounds like Jim Chaney expects to have Nick Chubb available to start the season. And not on a very limited basis, either.
Chaney, Georgia’s offensive coordinator, was asked Saturday how he would handle Chubb, who’s working his way back from knee surgery last October. No one has come out and said Chubb will definitely play on Sept. 3 against North Carolina, but Chaney, while saying he leaves the “medical stuff” to others, sounded optimistic.
“He’s practicing hard like everybody else is, and I see Nick Chubb being the player that he’s been before, and will continue to do so,” Chaney said. “I mean he’s a downhill running son of a gun, so let’s hand him the ball and see what he can get done.”
It’s the latest sign that Chubb is on track to play, if not start, in the season opener, which would complete a remarkably fast recovery from what the team called a “significant” knee injury less than a year ago. Chubb himself termed the injury as occurring to “everything but the ACL.”
Chubb’s injury last year derailed what was shaping up to be another outstanding season. He had 747 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in just five-plus games. (He was injured on his first carry against Tennessee.) As a freshman, Chubb rushed for 1,547 yards and 14 touchdowns despite only starting eight games, playing behind Todd Gurley in the other five.
“Nick has demonstrated in the past what a talented football player he is,” Chaney said. “I don’t see us changing a lot of what’s been done with him before. Nothing’s broke there, so let’s don’t fix it. He can go downhill as a heavy running back, and that’s what we’re doing. He’s out there on the field every day working to get himself in shape, and I feel comfortable we’re on track with where we’re at with the medical stuff.”