ATHENS — The scar from Sony Michel’s surgery is still evident on his left arm. It’s not that big, though, and you might miss it if you weren’t looking for it.
“Just a typical surgical scar,” Michel said.
And dealing with being hurt wasn’t a big deal either.
“I’m kind of used to it,” he said.
Indeed, Michel missed five games as a freshman because of a shoulder injury. Then he returned last year to rush for 1,161 yards – a quiet 1,000-yard season, since it came after the loss of Nick Chubb. But as this season approached, Michel was all set to be Georgia’s starter, what with Chubb still on the mend, Michel healthy, and then …
Well, then came the weekend in early July, when Michel was out with friends, horsing around on an ATV. He fell and broke his forearm, leading to surgery.
Michel didn’t want to delve into details of the accident, or talk about it much.
“You know, I just want to leave it behind because it’s not really something a person wants to think about, to keep replaying in your mind,” Michel said. “It’s just a crazy, freak accident that happened that weekend. So, you know, it’s just going to be in the past.”
It does appear in the past now, as Michel, after missing the opener, has returned for a cameo against Nicholls State (three rushes for three yards and two catches for five yards) and a much bigger load at Missouri (nine rushes for 37 yards and three catches for 19 yards.)
He enters Saturday’s game at Ole Miss without any limitations.
“I’m 100 percent. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be out there,” Michel said.
That gives Georgia’s offense an added dimension, one it especially needs. The running game has sputtered, thanks to the struggles on the offensive line. Michel’s quickness can allow the Bulldogs to try more to the outside, rather than just a continuous run of Isaiah McKenzie jet sweeps.
But Michel may be even more of a boon to the passing game. He caught 26 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns last year, and that was mainly as the starter. There’s also this: Among the tailbacks, Michel may be the best pass blocker. That will be a big help on third down.
Michel was asked if there had been any mental hurdles coming back from the injury.
“You know, my coaches and teammates are going to be there throughout the process,” he said. “It wasn’t my first time ever dealing with any sort of injury. So through the whole process they just held me high, to a high point where I kind of attacked the rehab process, and now I’m back on the field.”