ATHENS — Georgia is a defending two-time national champion that’s ranked No. 1 and has won 20 straight games, but the Bulldogs have taken their fair share of hits.
Coach Kirby Smart said Monday this is the most players UGA has had on the injury report in his eight years coaching the program.
“Ron (Courson) informed me that we have the longest injury list we’ve ever had since being here,” Smart said. “So it continues to grow, and I think that’s a trend across college football.
“You very rarely hear me talk about our guys being injured or, you know, woe is me. I don’t think it’s something that you can control. We practice how we practice, and for a couple years we’ve been really fortunate to not have very many injuries, and I always hear about other teams, and this year it seems to be the theme.”
Georgia’s offense has greatly been affected by the absence of preseason first-team All-SEC receiver Ladd McConkey, the most explosive target in the receiving corps.
McConkey has a back injury and has yet to play this season, and Smart indicated the gifted wideout likely won’t suit up for the 7:30 p.m. game with UAB on Saturday.
Georgia was missing two-time CFP Defensive MVP Javon Bullard for the South Carolina game on account of an ankle injury, and that was glaring as the Gamecocks hit on big plays with UGA backups a step off in their coverage responsibilities.
Another big injury occurred when starting right tackle Amarius Mims went down with an ankle injury in the 24-14 win over South Carolina.
Smart, who said Mims will undergo ankle surgery, will need to juggle UGA’s offensive line with the Bulldogs on the verge of starting league play.
Georgia’s injuries in the running backs room have been well-documented, but Daijun Edwards’ return to the lineup and moving receiver Dillon Bell into the backfield has provided a boost.
Still, Smart concedes the current roster management is a challenge.
“That becomes a hurdle, (and) we gotta do a good job overcoming that,” Smart said, “and we gotta be very resourceful as coaches in how we use the players we do have.”
Smart explained how Georgia is using more quick passes on the perimeter to help compensate for the lack of depth in the backfield, and the Bulldogs have run considerably less double tight ends sets than last season on account of the lack of depth in the tight ends room.
Here’s an updated look at the most recent Georgia injury report:
TE Brock Bowers (groin), probable
OLB Marvin Jones Jr. (illness), probable
OT Austin Blaske (knee), probable
TE Pearce Spurlin (undisclosed), questionable
RB Roderick Robinson (ankle), questionable
SS Javon Bullard (ankle), questionable
DB Chris Peal (toe), questionable
RB Kendall Milton (knee), doubtful
TE Lawson Luckie (ankle), doubtful
DL Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins (foot), out
WR Ladd McConkey (back), out
OL Kelton Smith Jr. (undisclosed), out
OT Amarius Mims (ankle), out
RB Branson Robinson (knee), out