Entering this week, Georgia's football team was dealing with a slew of injuries on both sides of the ball and one of those included the team's star wide receiver, George Pickens.
The news came Friday that Pickens did not make the trip to Jacksonville for Saturday's game against Florida, according to our sources. Earlier in the week, head coach Kirby Smart said, "[Pickens] practiced the other day, and we didn’t get to do much yesterday, and he did what he did the week before,” and then he followed that by saying, "It’s just going to be a pain tolerance deal, and we’re hopeful he’s able to play."
Now heading into game day, Pickens is listed as out making it a huge loss for the Bulldogs offense.
Although his numbers do not back it up this season, Pickens has a major impact on the offense whether or not he is getting receptions. With him on the field, defenses have to focus much of their attention on him, which also allows for other players on the field to get open. Smart had said, “We need [Pickens] to be at his best for us to be where we need to be offensively.”
With quarterback Stetson Bennett coming off of two games in which he did not perform well, not having Pickens to throw to does not help the situation.
With Pickens unavailable, offensive coordinator Todd Monken will have to figure out ways to get Kearis Jackson, Jermaine Burton and other receivers open in the passing game. However, the good news is that Georgia knew they could possibly be without Pickens entering the week, which means Monken and the offense have likely been working on finding new ways to be effective in the passing game without their No. 1 threat.
However, being without the team's best wide receiver in the season's biggest game can be a detriment to an an offense that has been struggling for consistency all year. The game against Florida was already going to be a challenge, but things just got tougher for the Bulldogs and Monken's offense.