Georgia defensive back Tykee Smith reportedly suffers torn ACL, out for 2021 season

Tykee Smith-Georgia football-ACL
Georgia defensive back Tykee Smith (23), shown here during the Bulldogs’ practice session in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, is questionable for the opening game. (Photo by Tony Walsh)
Tony Walsh

Just as Tykee Smith looked to be getting back onto the field, his season now appears to be over. According to a report from On3′s Palmer Thombs, Smith suffered a torn ACL in practice this week.

The injury will sideline Smith for the season. The transfer from West Virginia did not play in the first five games of the season as he recovered from preseason foot surgery.

Smith had been looking to get back into the defensive back rotation as he made his way back to full health.

“He knows the defense, he’s very bright, he’s intelligent,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said of Smith on Tuesday. “I don’t know that he’s 100 percent. He’s been out there practicing and competing, but it’s just tough when you come back from that injury.”

Smith entered the year with high expectations after coming to Georgia as an All-American at West Virginia last season. He also had familiarity with Georgia defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae.

Related: Tykee Smith: What Georgia is really getting in the All-American safety transfer

Georgia is already thin in the secondary as the Bulldogs are waiting to see if safety Chris Smith will play this week as he deals with a shoulder injury. At the star position, Latavious Brini has started every game for Georgia this season. In the event that Smith can’t go, Georgia would likely turn to Dan Jackson at the safety position.

The injury also likely means more reps for freshman Javon Bullard at the star position, should Georgia decide to rotate Brini to safety. The senior defensive back has 20 tackles and 5 pass breakups so far this season.

Smith came in briefly on defense against Auburn last week. He also added 3 tackles on special teams.

Georgia saw an exodus of defensive backs this past offseason, which is why the Bulldogs brought in Smith along with Clemson cornerback Derion Kendrick. Smith will be able to redshirt as he played in just one game so far this season for Georgia. He arrived as a junior at Georgia and is eligible to return next season.

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