ATHENS Georgia sophomore receiver George Pickens is expected to miss his second consecutive game, according to multiple sources.
Pickens, the Sugar Bowl MVP with 12 catches for 175 yards in the 26-14 win over Baylor on Jan. 1, has continued to deal with an upper body injury.
It’s a No. 5-ranked Bulldogs’ team rife with injuries entering into the 3:30 p.m. kickoff in Florida against the No. 8-ranked Gators in Jacksonville.
Georgia senior All-American safety Richard LeCounte will miss the game on account of injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident last Saturday night.
Senior defensive tackle Julian Rochester is out for the season after suffering a knee injury in last Saturday’s win at Kentucky.
Coach Kirby Smart said earlier this week he’s hopeful junior nose tackle Jordan Davis can play a limited role after getting knocked out of last Saturday’s game against the Wildcats with an elbow injury.
Two other starters who left the Kentucky game injured, safety Lewis Cine (ankle) and linebacker Quay Walker (neck), are expected to play, Smart said.
The Georgia head coach was asked about his confidence in the defensive depth heading into the Florida game during his coaches’ show on Thursday night.
“Not as confident as I was going into the Kentucky game, that’s for sure, we just lost some guys,” Smart said. “There was a point in there where I saw people walking down the sidelines into the locker room, and I just kept seeing them going, and I was like, golly, it was like marching ants.
“We were getting guys in and out, in and out, to get guys X-rayed and worked on, and it was scary to say the least.”
Smart said the Bulldogs “don’t have the depth we once had, but we’ve got good football players, and we’re going to find out a lot about some of the guys when they get a chance to step up Saturday.”
Pickens injury occurred during weight training, according to multiple sources.
The former 5-star receiver has seen his role diminished this season with redshirt junior Stetson Bennett under center at quarterback.
Pickens, a perimeter receiver, has only 13 catches for 140 yards through the first four games he has played.
Smart has said Georgia was looking for ways to get Pickens more involved.
“We need him to be at his best for us to be where we need to be offensively,” Smart said earlier this week, sparking optimism Pickens might be in position for more catches.
ESPN analyst Jordan Rodgers noted he had only seen Pickens lined up at different receiver positions five times prior to the Kentucky game.
The Bulldogs’ offensive game plan has involved more short passes this season with Jake Fromm off to the NFL.
Bennett is 7-of-20 passing for 275 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions on balls thrown 20 yards or more downfield, according to advance metrics cited by 247Sports.
Bennett ranked 10th of the 14 SEC starting quarterbacks in percentage of pass attempts over 20 yards (14.3 percent), focusing more on short passes where he’s connecting on 72 percent of his third down throws.
Georgia injury report
OT Owen Condon (unknown): Condon started the opening game at right tackle before being…
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