Georgia QB Eason to miss Notre Dame game with sprained knee

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) Quarterback Jacob Eason will not play in No. 15 Georgia's game at Notre Dame after spraining his left knee in last week's win over Appalachian State.

Coach Kirby Smart said Monday that Eason will not need surgery. He said Eason's status will be ''week to week'' after the Notre Dame game.

''He was down a little bit, but he will back from it,'' Smart said of Eason. ''He will be back this year and we are actually fortunate that it was not worse than it was probably. So that is the good news.''

Smart said Eason started rehabbing the knee on Sunday.

Smart said senior tailback Nick Chubb, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2015, spoke with Eason.

''It could have very easily been similar to Nick's and it wasn't,'' Smart said. ''We had several guys talk to him. I think (Eason) knows that in the game of football injuries happen. Look across college football now and we are not the only ones dealing with it.''

Freshman Jake Fromm is expected to start against Notre Dame on Saturday night after leading three straight touchdown drives in the first half after replacing Eason in the 31-10 win over Appalachian State.

Eason, a sophomore who started the final 12 games last season, was hurt midway through the opening quarter of the season-opening win. Smart says he is ''just disappointed for Jacob because of how hard he worked and how much better he had gotten.''

Fromm earned compliments for his poise after he completed 10 of 15 passes for 143 yards and one touchdown. That composure will be tested when he makes his first start at Notre Dame.

''For him to step in and help us like that, that's big time,'' wide receiver Javon Wims said Monday.

''He's a field general, a true field general. At first I was shocked by how fast he picked it up as a freshman, but now he's been doing it so long I'm not shocked at all.''

Smart and other players also had strong praise for Fromm. Even so, Smart said it's a blow to lose Eason for an undetermined amount of time.

''''I think anytime you get injuries, especially at the quarterback position, it tests your mettle a little bit,'' Smart said.

Safety J.R. Reed said losing Eason won't affect the team's hopes in the Southeastern Conference.

''Not at all,'' Reed said. ''I think Jake is going to come over and take over where Jacob left off and we still can win the East and win the championship.''

Senior Brice Ramsey, who threw two interceptions late in the win over Appalachian State, will be Fromm's backup. Smart defended Ramsey's performance against the Mountaineers because the third-string quarterback ''doesn't typically get any reps'' during practices.

Eason's injury adds more significance to Ramsey's decision to return this season. He announced plans to transfer after the 2016 season.

Two walk-on quarterbacks, Stetson Bennett, a freshman from Blackshear, Georgia, and junior Sam Vaughn also move up the depth chart.

Smart said Bennett was ''a bright surprise of our camp'' while running the scout team offense.

''He has great arm strength,'' Smart said. ''He sees the field well. He's not exceptionally tall, but you can ask our defensive players, he's been a handful on the scout team. He has done a great job with that.''

NOTES: Smart said he hopes CB Aaron Davis (ankle) and right guard Solomon Kindley (ankle) can play this week. CB Malkom Parrish, who missed the opener with a foot injury, is ''week to week,'' according to Smart.

---

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.