ESPN reporter shares Kirby Smart injury update on Georgia tight end Darnell Washington
ATLANTA — Georgia tight end Darnell Washington is questionable to play in the CFP Championship Game after suffering a lower-body injury, per an ESPN report.
ESPN field reporter Marty Smith, who was covering the game at the field level, spoke with Coach Kirby Smart and shared specifics on Monday night.
“Kirby Smart told me that TE Darnell Washington’s leg injury is not an ankle sprain,” Smith said on his Twitter account.
“Smart said the injury is a ‘soft tissue contusion and strain,’ (and) does not require surgery.”
Smart said Smart told him the type of injury Washington suffered makes it more likely that he will play against TCU in the CFP title game at 7:30 p.m. next Monday at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif.
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Smart did not provide specifics immediately after the game on Saturday night.
Washington has been a key for Georgia all season, not just as a big receiving target, but as a strong and physical blocker.
The Bulldogs’ two-tight end sets with Washington and All-American Brock Bowers creates big problems for most all defensive fronts, but it could be particularly vexing for the somewhat unique 3-3-5 TCU plays.
Former SEC head coach and UGA and Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt compared the Horned Frogs’ alignments and style of play to the defense of Mississippi State.
Pruitt said that type of 3-3-5 allows for great movement and potential confusion for offensive lines.
A double tight end formation, however, creates an extra gap on the offensive line and challenges the 3-3-5 to adjust, quite possibly, out of its base personnel.
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Smart is expected to provide an update on Washington on a Tuesday teleconference, although it’s unlikely he will be very transparent on account of not wanting to provide TCU with any sort of strategic insights.