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How Darnell Washington's Return will Help Georgia

Georgia has been riddled with injuries since before the season started, especially on offense. On Monday though, head coach Kirby Smart provided an injury update on Darnell Washington and it looks like Washington will finally be making his season debut against Arkansas on Saturday. 

A week before the season started, Washington underwent surgery to repair a minor fracture in his foot that has kept him on the sideline for the past four weeks and is now ready to begin his sophomore season with Georgia. 

Oddly enough, Washington's first-ever collegiate football game played was last season against Arkansas and that is who he will be making his debut against yet again in the 2021 season. With Arkansas being ranked inside the top ten now and Saturday setting up to be one of Georgia's biggest tests of the season the Bulldogs couldn't have asked for a better time to greet Washington back into the lineup. 

Early in the 2020 season, it was very apparent that Washington was going to have to experience and withstand some early growing pains which are expected of any true freshman. Aside from his early struggles though, Washington proved to be a major positive impact in the run game from day one as he did an exceptional job holding the edge and creating holes for Georgia's running backs every down he played. 

This wasn't seen as a big surprise considering Washington's massive frame for a tight end, but in reality, it was when taking into account that during his entire high school career Washington was asked to put his hand in the dirt and block maybe a handful of times. 

Being able to add another blocker, like Darnell Washington, to help in the run game is a huge sign of relief for Georgia with how much they have struggled in that area of their game four weeks into the season. The Bulldog's offensive line is continuing to try and figure things out upfront and by adding Washington back into the mix they become one step closer to really figuring things out. 

There is of course much more to Washington's game than just run blocking as he displayed late in the 2020 season how valuable he can be as a vertical downfield threat. A big body, with a long frame, and strong hands is a tough matchup for any defense and JT Daniels will undoubtedly be glad to see Darnell running routes again between the hedges.

Georgia's offense has been looking better week by week and with Washington making his return that trend will continue in the right direction. Obviously, it is great to add more weapons to use in the passing game but the impact that Darnell will have in the running game should not be overlooked. 

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