The Georgia Bulldogs were able to topple LSU without a full game from Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley, but in the midst of the celebration of that victory, the news on Gurley isn’t terribly positive.
According to a report from David Ching of DawgNation, Gurley attempted to warm up and subsequently practice on Wednesday, but his injured ankle prevented him from doing so. Mark Richt owned up to the injury exit from Gurley after practice, and gave a hazy quote surrounding his star running back’s status for Saturday.
“There’s no drop-dead. There used to be, I think, but a lot of times, it just depends on a guy and what type of veteran he is. If you think he has to practice Wednesday and Thursday in order to be mentally prepared to play, you might say, ‘Hey, he’s got to practice.’ But if a guy knows what to do and he feels great on Saturday even though he didn’t feel good on Wednesday, I think I’d still play him anyway.”
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
However, the Dawgs are in a very rare position with Gurley, in that his backup, Keith Marshall, is arguably a top-25 back in all of college football. Marshall was able to churn out nearly 100 yards against LSU and, frankly, Tennessee isn’t LSU this year. The depth would take a severe hit if Gurley is unable to go, but we saw last week that the UGA offense, led by Aaron Murray, can score in bunches even without their go-to guy on the field.
For me, if Gurley can’t go in full before Friday, Mark Richt should go ahead and deploy Keith Marshall as the starter and featured back against the Vols. We are at least 24 hours from finding out that information, but the fact that Gurley couldn’t even attempt to practice on Wednesday is a giant, flashing warning sign.