Georgia junior wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell suffered a season-ending ACL injury to his right knee in Saturday night’s loss to Clemson, coach Mark Richt confirmed Sunday.
Mitchell hurt the knee when he landed on it awkwardly after jumping to “air bump” tailback Todd Gurley in celebration of Gurley’s 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of the Bulldogs’ 38-35 loss at Clemson. He will have surgery in the coming weeks and be awarded a medical redshirt to reclaim a year of eligibility.
“What we thought happened did happen,” Richt said in a teleconference call with reporters. “It was confirmed with an MRI today. I can’t imagine him coming back (this season).”
Mitchell has had problems with the knee since spring practice when he had surgery to repair a meniscus tear. He was also sidelined briefly midway through preseason camp due to swelling.
Richt wasn’t sure about the status of Gurley, who was sidelined for much of Saturday’s game with a strained quadriceps muscle. Gurley actually injured the thigh on the same touchdown run and was visibly affected for parts of the second and third quarters. But he came back and played well late in the game, scoring another touchdown on an impressive 12-yard run and finishing with 154 yards on 12 carries.
“I don’t know that answer yet,” Richt said Gurley’s availability this week. “But after talking to Todd after the game I don’t think it’s anything that’s going to be serious. You never know but I think (trainer) Ron (Courson) would have said something if something was going on.”
As for Mitchell’s split-end position, junior Michael Bennett ended up taking most of the snaps in the remainder of Saturday’s game and finished with a team-high five catches for 60 yards. But Richt wasn’t sure yet how the Bulldogs will lineup against South Carolina.
Justin-Scott Wesley had four catches for 55 against Clemson and Chris Conley had three for 67. Junior college transfer Jonathan Rumph is expected to return from injury this week as well.
“We’ve got other guys that can go deep and make plays for us,” Richt said. “But Malcolm was certainly a guy who could do that well.”
Richt remained coy about the availability of starting place-kicker Marshall Morgan, who missed the Clemson game due to disciplinary suspension.
“We’ll let everybody know later on,” Richt said.
AJC's Mark Bradley on the injury: Without Mitchell, is UGA done for? Hardly