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Georgia football injury update: Darnell Washington status for CFP national championship game

Where things stand with Darnell Washington before Georgia takes on TCU in the College Football Playoff national championship game

Georgia watched as one of its top offensive stars went down with an injury last time out, but things appear to be progressing well for Darnell Washington.

Related: Georgia vs. TCU picks, predictions for College Football Playoff

The star Bulldogs tight end was forced out of the team's win over Ohio State in the Peach Bowl semifinal with a lower body injury.

Where things stand with Darnell Washington

Washington will officially be designated a game-time decision ahead of the College Football Playoff national championship game.

He was able to do some physical work during team practices, but did not take part in any team-oriented activities.

"It's better," Washington said, via ESPN.

"We'll have to see what I can do the next two days. The plan is to play and that's the goal. Whatever happens, it's not in my hands."

Initially, it was believed that Washington was dealing with a high ankle sprain, but ESPN college football reporter Marty Smith conveyed that Smart told him the player was dealing with an ankle strain and soft-tissue bruise.

What the injury means

The issue does not require surgery and in fact may give Washington a better chance to play in the national championship game than if it was an ankle sprain.

Medical analysts say that common contusions and sprains of this kind in football players take a few days or weeks to fully heal.

How important he is for Georgia

Washington emerged as one of the most dominant offensive players in college football this season, a gifted blocker who can create mismatches in coverage, appearing in all 14 games, catching 27 passes for 426 yards and two touchdowns.

Georgia relies heavily on Washington and fellow tight end Brock Bowers as receivers and blockers, playing with two tight ends on the same 59 percent of the time, the highest-rate of any team using such formations in FBS this season.

“He’s an unbelievable talent and he’s amazing,” Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett said of Washington.

“But if he can’t go then we’re going to have other people step up. That’s just how it goes around here. We’d love to have him, he’s one of the game-changers we have, but we still want to go win a football game.”

College Football Playoff National Championship

Georgia and TCU will meet for the national championship on Mon., Jan. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the main ESPN network.

More: Georgia vs. TCU national championship schedule


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