ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason will not play Saturday at Notre Dame after being diagnosed with a sprained knee ligament, coach Kirby Smart confirmed Monday.
There is no firm timetable for the sophomore’s return. Eason will not require surgery, Smart added, and said the team felt “fortunate” that the injury wasn’t worse.
“We expect a full recovery this season,” Smart said. “Jacob will be week to week from this point forward. We don’t know how long it’s going to be.”
Freshman Jake Fromm will make his first college start at Notre Dame.
Eason was injured on the second play of Georgia’s third drive on a late hit after scrambling out of bounds. The sophomore quarterback finished the game 1 for 3, the lone completion for 4 yards.
After Fromm entered, Georgia went on to take a 31-0 lead, with Fromm going 10 for 15 for 143 yards and a touchdown pass.
A 5-star prospect in the Class of 2016, Eason started all but one game last season for Georgia, finishing the year with 2,430 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, but only a 55.1 completion percentage.
Senior tailback Nick Chubb, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2015, spoke to Eason at the coaching staff’s suggestion.
“It could have been very easily been similar to Nick’s, and it wasn’t. We had several guys talk to him,” Smart said. “I think he knows the game of football, and injuries happen. You look across college football now and we’re not the only ones dealing with it.”
Florida State lost starting quarterback Deondre Francois to a season-ending knee injury on Saturday, one of several key players across college football to sustain serious injuries in Week 1.
“I’m just disappointed for Jacob, because of how hard he worked, and how much he grew, and how much better he had gotten,” Smart said. “He didn’t get a chance to showcase that the other day.”
Fromm, who was a 4-star prospect on the 247Sports composite, enrolled early in January, coming from Houston County High School in Warner Robins, Ga. He immediately drew raves for his leadership skills and quick ability to pick up the offense.
“He came in and managed the situation well,” Smart said Monday, before adding: “Every situation will be different. App State obviously wasn’t planning for him. So the next team probably will be. We know that. Jake Fromm is a mature freshman who’s going to be able to take over the offense.”
The only other scholarship quarterback on Georgia’s roster is senior Brice Ramsey, who entered in the fourth quarter on Saturday and was intercepted twice. Ramsey has appeared in 20 games at quarterback over the past three seasons, though with no starts.