The injury bug continues to hit Georgia this season with the news of defensive back Tykee Smith tearing his ACL, leaving Georgia without much room for other injuries in the secondary.
Smith transferred to Athens this offseason after spending his freshman and sophomore year with current Georgia defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae at West Virginia. Smith's final year as a Mountaineer saw him emerge as one of the top defensive backs in the country as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe award, along with being selected to multiple outlets' All-America teams.
The ACL tear comes just weeks after the West Virginia transfer finished rehab from a minor fracture in the foot that he suffered in the leadup to Clemson. Smith missed the first five games for Georgia this season before making his debut this past weekend against Auburn, where he finished with three tackles.
Smith is now back on the sidelines, and all indications point to the junior defensive back missing the rest of the season, forcing Georgia to once again adapt to the circumstances of limited depth at a position.
Georgia is struggling to maintain depth at wide receiver with the mass amount of attrition that has set in from the first six weeks of the season. Georgia is already down a defensive back with Jalen Kimber, reportedly expected to miss the rest of the season; Kimber will undergo shoulder surgery, now add Smith to that list, and Georgia is treading water.
Luckily, Latavious Brini is one of many bright spots through the first six games in the secondary. The foot injury to Smith firmly entrenched Brini as the starter at STAR and has seen the senior defensive flourish as of late. Brini's breakout performance in his first career start in the Peach Bowl against Cinncinatti seems to be playing in Georgia's favor now as he looks to stay in that role for the rest of the season, barring injury.
Behind Brini, the options do not get any more experienced. Javon Bullard is a name that's flashed at times when on the field for Georgia this season. The freshman defensive back enrolled in January, giving him extra time to learn a complicated position.
Bullard is the clear number two for Georgia right now. He will likely see quite a bit of playing time this weekend against Kentucky seeing as though starting safety Christopher Smith is banged up with a shoulder issue. Latavious Brini is now Dan Jackson’s backup at safety.
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