McConkey could sit out after an ankle injury against Georgia Tech.

McConkey could sit out after an ankle injury against Georgia Tech.

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia receiver Ladd McConkey may rest his sore ankle against Georgia Tech this week. But with Georgia coach Kirby Smart approaching the SEC championship, ligament surgery is not on the table for McConkey.

Here’s what you need to know:

McConkie rolled his ankle in the first half against Ole Miss on Nov. 11, didn’t practice much the next week, and tried to play at Tennessee but was pulled after six snaps. Smart said Monday that he had been told there was speculation that McConkey would undergo surgery: “Absolutely not the case.” I don’t know where it came from.” Despite missing the first four games with a back injury, McConkey is Georgia’s fourth-leading receiver (26 for 418 yards and two touchdowns), and the team’s second-leading receiver last year behind Brook Bowers.

McConkey’s injury and impact

There are reports online that suggest McConkey’s ankle could be a long-term issue. But the fact that McConkey played a week after the injury suggests it wasn’t a high-ankle sprain, and Smart said they “feel good” that McConkey will be back, without saying whether that would be Saturday or later.

“He’s got an ankle shape that he’s adjusted to in the game here at home,” Smart said. “He was able to walk a little bit over the weekend but he didn’t practice much. It bothered him a bit Saturday. But there is nothing more serious than that. I mean, we’ve had MRIs and even more tests since the game.

Although Georgia had to play without McConkey, it was already done, as well, without its biggest star. Bowers missed the wins at Florida and Missouri (73 combined points and 871 combined yards). And with McConkie unable to play Saturday, the Bulldogs scored 38 points and Carson Beck passed for 316 yards.

Georgia has plenty of good receiving options: Dominique Lovett (484 receiving yards), Marcus Rosemi-Jaxant (472 yards), Rara Thomas (383 yards) and Dillon Bell emerged with 90 receiving yards at Tennessee.

The question is whether Georgia needs a finally healthy McConkey to be in good shape and beat Alabama. Also, anyone who meets her if they make it to a college football game. The redshirt junior is an excellent route runner with great separation skills, making him a key target on third downs.

That’s why the focus is on McConkey this week off, hoping the ankle heals so he can play against Alabama. And he may not be the only one who sees limited emergencies, or none at all, with serious injuries.

Georgia Tech (6-5) has had a strong year and enters it having won three of four. But while the Yellow Jackets have one of the worst defenses in the ACC (last in total yards allowed, second-to-last in yards per game and scoring defense), Georgia’s offense is one of the best in the country (fifth in yards per game). and scoring). So it would make sense for Georgia to play cautiously with offensive injuries while going more all-in with defensive players.

Other Georgia injury updates

Right guard Tate Rutledge will likely miss the Tennessee game this week after leaving the game with a foot injury. Rutledge suffered a broken knee after bumping into someone in the first half. The knee was sore until Monday, according to Smart, but there was no structural damage.

“It’s just going to be a timeline of how fast it turns around,” Smart said.

Thomas, who left the Tennessee game with a foot injury, did not appear to have any obvious discomfort or tightness in his leg after the game.

“We don’t know the severity,” Smart said. “We think he’ll be fine but we don’t know that. We’ll see in the week if he’s ready to go.

Bowers has played the past two weeks since returning from ligament surgery on his ankle, making 56 snaps. He sat down early in the second half, but Bowers said he felt better afterward.

“Brock feels great. I think it’s a little sick,” Smart said. “I think what he’s doing is he’s more on the ankle during the game, and obviously he’s struggling more directly and the tackles he’s getting are in more pain than he is in the week after the game. So recovery will take some time with this process. We’ll go easy on him during the week because if you don’t have him, he’ll overwork himself. This was the plan every week. “

On the defensive side, linebacker Jamon Dumas-Johnson is expected to miss a third straight game with an arm injury. A timetable for his return has not been announced, but he has played well in the absence of freshman CJ Allen. Smart classifies Dumas-Johnson as “week-to-week.”

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(Photo: Dale Zanen / USA Today)