ATHENS – Here’s yet another summation of the disappointment that has been Georgia’s season: Jordan Jenkins had been the Iron Man of the defense the past three years, not missing a game. Then, just as he was on the verge of a breakthrough senior season, he got hurt.
A muscle strain – near his groin and abdomen – has bothered Jenkins basically all season. It caused him to miss the Missouri game, breaking up his 46-game playing streak at Georgia. And it has slowed him and limited his snaps for basically the entire month of October.
This week, Jenkins is hoping to play a bit more against Kentucky. But it’s only hope until he can actually do it.
“I’m getting treatment two to three times a day. I’m getting rehab,” he said. “It’s up to me to prove to the coaches this week that I’m healthy and I can play more soundly than I tried doing last week.”
Early in the season, either the first or second game, Jenkins’ hip flexor started to feel sore. He dealt with it by getting treatment, though it continued to be sore. He managed three sacks in September.
Then against Alabama, he aggravated it while running, and on Monday’s practice he noticed it was hurting a lot more. He tried to play through it against Tennessee, heard something pop on the third play, then finally had to give up.
He only played around 10 snaps against Florida, and about 5-7 at Tennessee. In between, he missed the entire Missouri game.
“It was a new feeling being stuck on the sideline, watching everybody play,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins mulled entering the NFL draft after last season, but came back for a number of reasons, including wanting to have one big final season. Instead this season has been marred by injuries, and through eight games he only has three sacks.
“It definitely very frustrating, but at the same time I also treat it as a learning experience, because it made me realize you never know how long you have to play the game of football. I’m lucky that my injury wasn’t as serious as other guys. But it made me appreciate the game that much more. I feel like I’m gonna play a lot hungrier when I’m out there on the field, because of the time I missed and make up for the lost time.”