Kirby Smart provides positive health update on Warren McClendon as team arrives in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES — The Bulldogs have officially landed in Los Angelels, as the team departed their plane shortly after 3 p.m. PT on Friday afternoon ahead of Monday’s National Championship game.
While the team deboarded the plane, Georgia coach Kirby Smart spoke briefly with the media upon arriving. He did provide an injury update to two key Bulldogs, with Smart sounding more confident in the team having right tackle Warren McClendon.
“He’s been working,” Smart said. “He’s felt a lot better this week in terms of what he’s been able to do compared to previous weeks.”
McClendon dressed against Ohio State but was limited to just seeing the field on the final play of the game against Ohio State. He picked up an MCL injury against LSU in the SEC championship game.
With McClendon not starting against Ohio State, Georgia went with Amarius Mims. The sophomore made his first career start for Georgia.
Smart once again added that he is hopeful to have tight end Darnell Washington. He picked up an ankle/foot injury in the win over Ohio State, as he left the game in the first half. Washington did not have a boot or crutches as he made his way off the plane.
In the event Georgia will have to rely on its young plays — such as freshmen Oscar Delp, Marvin Jones and Jalon Walker — Smart noted the steps those players have made over the course of the season.
“We’ve gotten better, we’ve improved. We’ve gotten to play a lot of really good opponents, especially here at the end of the year,” Smart said. “They’ve come a long and the young players have shown the most progress. Some of our younger players are starting to play better because they’re at the end of year one.”
Georgia will take on TCU on Monday night. The team will get a chance to practice at SoFi Stadium on Saturday, a place the Bulldogs have yet to play.
“We’ll get to walk that stadium, we’ll do practice in the stadium, so we’ll be more familiar with this stadium than most we play in because when we play on the road, the kids don’t get to see the stadium,” Smart said. “So when we go on the road in the SEC a lot of the freshmen don’t ever go there and see it.”
The game is set for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff, with ESPN broadcasting the game.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia’s ‘Uga’ mascot will miss championship game
- TCU’s Sonny Dykes updates Kendre Miller status at arrival, ready to focus on Georgia
- Kirk Herbstreit eager to see if Stetson Bennett gets to ‘write this final chapter the way he wants’
- TCU coach Sonny Dykes braces for Georgia ‘playmakers,’ respects Todd Monken
- Duce Robinson: How in the Todd Hartley did the ‘Dawgs become a strong contender for the 5-star TE?
- Georgia football fans flocking to Los Angeles, but bettors like TCU, ticket demand in Texas
- Georgia football podcast: UGA defense ready to bounce back vs. TCU
- Jordan Hall: The “Big Baby” 2023 signee is tearing up the All-American Bowl out in Texas