Who among us didn’t hurt ourselves doing some kind of summer activity while we were in college?
This week Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm became the latest to sustain a non-football injury, although the sophomore isn’t expected to miss any time for the Bulldogs as he recovers.
While cheering for their favorite college teams, fans often forget that the players whose every move they try to track on and off the field are in fact 18-22 year old kids who like to go on fun adventures with their friends.
And in the summer with much less class time to worry about, between both informal and organized team workouts, there is a lot more time, and room for, activities. And while coaches and athletic directors and medical and training staffs would love to control every single aspect of what every player does during every part of the day or wrap every player in team colors bubble wrap, they just can’t.
While Kirby Smart would love for his players to go straight from the practice fields to their houses and play FIFA in the air conditioning for the rest of the day, that’s not likely (and could get just as dangerous if someone scores a late goal and controllers start flying all over the room).
So with Fromm hitting the summer double on the off-field injury list after also hurting himself in May when a fish hook got caught in his leg, we got to thinking about other freak accidents that have happened to Georgia football players in recent years.
Here’s a brief timeline:
- Sony Michel: The former Georgia running back broke his left arm in an ATV accident during the Fourth of July holiday in 2016. Michel was limited in his return to action at the beginning of the season and wore a high-tech carbon fiber arm guard for most of the season.
- Malcolm Mitchell: Disclaimer: This injury did happen during a game, but it didn’t happen during a play. During the Bulldogs season-opening game at Clemson in 2013, Mitchell tore the ACL in his right knee while jumping to celebrate Todd Gurley’s long touchdown run in the first quarter. Here’s a look at the play again (begins at 0:25 of the video below):
- Ray Drew and Derrick Lott: During the summer of 2011, two Georgia football players –both coincidentally defensive ends — hurt themselves in separate scooter accidents. In the respective wrecks, Drew hurt his arm, while Lott cut his leg. Neither player missed significant time.
It’s a tough balancing act for these players, as the summer is the only part of the year when their schedules aren’t completely weighed down by all the work that goes into being a student-athlete at a premiere university with a premiere football program. It’s undoubtedly a good thing for them to get out and relax and have fun. Coaches, teammates, families, and fans just have to trust that they’ll make good decisions.