ATHENS — Maybe it wasn’t why Georgia struggled to run the ball against Florida on Saturday. It does, however, explain why its starting tailback didn’t get more carries.
Sony Michel broke a bone in his hand on either the first or second play of the game – head coach Mark Richt couldn’t remember for sure – and played through it the rest of the way in Georgia’s 27-3 loss. Michel only carried it 13 times and finished with 45 yards, the least rushing yards for Georgia’s top runner since the 2012 loss at South Carolina.
Richt said Michel should be fine to play Saturday against Kentucky. Michel did leave the game during Georgia’s first drive, then didn’t play on the next two drives.
“It’s not anything that needs surgery or anything like that. It was a slight fracture I guess is the right way to describe it. That didn’t help the cause,” Richt said of a game in which Georgia failed to score a touchdown for a second straight game, and managed just 69 rushing yards.
“But that’s football again,” Richt said. “It’s part of the game. Those kinds of things happen. Everybody has gotta be able to step up and play in case somebody can’t. And sometimes you’ve gotta play when you’re hurt. There’s a difference between an injury that would keep you from playing and just pain.”
Michel had already been playing through a minor groin injury, which caused him to rest during Georgia’s bye week. But that wasn’t an issue on Saturday, according to Richt.
“Sony was about as healthy as you could be this time of year going into the ballgame,” Richt said.