Frustrated Kirby Smart updates status of wide receiver position and how it impacts Georgia offense
Head coach Kirby Smart had to address the injury situation at the wide receiver position, again. This time, he revealed redshirt freshman wide receiver Arian Smith sprained his wrist in Saturday’s scrimmage.
Smart did add that Smith is expected to be fine but was unsure of his practice status going forward due to the fact that Georgia was still doing X-rays.
The injury to Smith comes after Jermaine Burton hyperextended his knee at practice on Tuesday — which Smart also confirmed— and George Pickens suffering an ACL injury that will require surgery and keep him out for the foreseeable future.
As frustrated as Smart was about the development, he did caution those worried about the position.
“I don’t think we should sensationalize the other things because it’s all part of football,” Smart said. “We had other guys get injured today and it’s a lot bigger deal when everybody writes, ‘oh, a receiver, another receiver is hurt.’ The receivers are going to be fine.”
Smart did offer proof to these claims as he said Burton was out at practice on Saturday doing exercises and conditioning work. Smart clarified that the sophomore Burton had no structural damage to his knee and added that any misinformed speculating on the length of Burton’s knee injury would be unfair.
Following the long-term injury to Pickens, Burton was expected to become an even bigger piece of the Georgia offense. He finished his freshman season with 27 catches for 404 yards and 3 touchdowns. His best game came against Mississippi State, as he finished with eight catches for 197 yards. He also caught a touchdown pass in the loss to Alabama.
“He’s day-to-day. That’s what it is. It’s not anything past that,” Smart said.
Compounding the injury situations for Pickens, Burton and Smith is that Georgia is already without Dominick Blaylock and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, as those two both attempt to recover from season-ending injuries from the 2020 season.
As for the wide receivers who were able to play on Saturday, sources tell DawgNation that both Justin Robinson and Demetris Robertson had strong performances for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs will also look to continue to involve Kearis Jackson, Ladd McConkey, Adonai Mitchell and Jackson Meeks at the position.
Smart did admit all the injuries have impacted continuity with the offense, which is important as the offense attempts to grow under returning quarterback JT Daniels.
“For him continuity is important, you know we haven’t had great continuity with this back out, that receiver out,” Smart said. “So we’ve been ping-ponging guys around. That’s always tough.”
The injury situation at wide receiver will also force Georgia to look more towards the tight end and running back spots for receiving production. Running back James Cook will be an even bigger piece in the passing game as will tight ends Darnell Washington, John FitzPatrick and freshman Brock Bowers.
Smart did have some encouraging words to say about Bowers and his potential in the passing game.
“He’s a talented guy, he’s bright and learning quickly; he’s got some speed and burst, he has great hands,” Smart said.
Georgia will get a chance to showcase its healthy wide receivers on G-Day, which is set for April 17. The final spring practice is set for a 2 p.m. start time and will air on SEC Network+.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart updates wide receiver position
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia football podcast: Kirby Smart explains an underrated aspect of the national championship formula
- Georgia offensive line needs Justin Shaffer at his best on and off field
- NFL plans indicate Georgia football could have capacity crowds this season
- BREAKING: 2022 Australian punter Brett Thorson commits to UGA
- WATCH: Where Georgia football stands as it starts second half of spring practice
- Georgia football winners and losers at the halfway point of spring practice
- Justin Fields No. 5 quarterback in Todd McShay 2021 NFL mock draft
- Jalen Carter continues to show why he could be the next Travon Walker