Georgia wide receiver Michael Bennett injured, out for season (Updated)

ATHENS — Georgia’s football team suffered a significant and untimely injury, learning Wednesday that its leading receiver, Michael Bennett, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn knee ligament.

Bennett, injured on the final play of Tuesday’s closed practice, was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will require reconstructive surgery, UGA said.

The news came as No. 5 Georgia prepares for Saturday’s game at No. 6 South Carolina, a showdown of undefeated SEC East teams.

Georgia’s offense surely will miss Bennett against the Gamecocks’ stellar defense. Through five games, he leads the Bulldogs’ receivers in catches (24), yards (345) and touchdowns (4).

Bennett reacted to his season-ending injury via Twitter, writing: “God has a plan for me and everything happens for a reason. Get ready for a historic season Dawg nation. Our boys are gonna get it done!”

Coach Mark Richt said the injury occurred as Bennett was blocking in the final drill of practice.

“It’s very sad that it happened,” Richt said. “It was a heck of a practice, really. Everybody was working hard; everybody had a good attitude; scout teamers were getting after it. Everything you’d hope for in a Tuesday practice, we were having.

“And then, on the very last [play] of the day, he was engaged in a block and was just working it. And as he was moving — no one ran into him [or] rolled into him or anything like that — his knee buckled. And there it was.”

Bennett, an Alpharetta High graduate, was redshirted as a UGA freshman in 2010 and showed considerable promise in 2011 before emerging as a top target for quarterback Aaron Murray this season.

Bennett had eight catches against Missouri, 110 receiving yards against Florida Atlantic and, in what proved to be his final game of the season, five catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee last week. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining, and Richt  expects that he’ll be ready to play at the start of next season.

Wide receiver is one of Georgia’s deepest positions. After Bennett, the team’s next most productive receivers have been seniors Marlon Brown (17 catches for 272 yards and three touchdowns) and Tavarres King (16 catches for 307 yards and three touchdowns).  Rantavious Woote, Chris Conley and Rhett McGowan also have contributed. Even before Bennett’s injury, the coaches returned Malcolm Mitchell — the Bulldogs’ second leading receiver behind King last year — to primarily an offensive role after using him on defense through the season’s first four weeks.

“Now, especially with Bennett’s injury, we’re going to be using [Mitchell] more offensively,” Richt said. “But that was the plan [already].”

Richt likes Georgia’s depth at wide receiver but says the group will miss Bennett in more ways than one.

“I think we’re still going to be fine, but we’re losing a guy that I personally think helped the toughness of our unit [in] the way he went about his business, even when he was redshirted,” Richt said. “Just a tough, hard-nosed football player, a guy who was going to make a tough catch, a guy who was going to block, a guy who was going to practice with a lot of intensity.”

King wants to pay tribute to Bennett during Saturday’s game.   “I wanna wear 82 this week,” King tweeted, referring to Bennett’s jersey number.

–Tim Tucker

380 comments Add your comment

ISAIAH WHO?????

October 3rd, 2012
12:19 pm

THATS IT…WE ARE DONE FOR THE SEASON…BEST RECEIVER IS GONE…THATS IT!!!!
HEADING TO THE HILLS TO JUMP OFF

joe jenkins

October 3rd, 2012
12:20 pm

We will defintely lose now…..he was our best damn WR…..the way he plays he can take the pressure off the other wr’s. he is also the second tallest…and we need the height…..i have my doubts about marlon brown and wooten…brown did nothing against tenn. so here we are…the biggest game of the year and we lost our best WR…..geez

PMC

October 3rd, 2012
12:20 pm

Guy should have been in shrink wrap, not practicing, sorry, he’s the most consistent WR out of that group. For this to happen in practice and not a game is unbelievably unfortunate.

PMC

October 3rd, 2012
12:21 pm

That said, they have PLENTY of talent guys just have to step up and make the tough catches. That, and welcome back to the pattern TE’s.

DawgJohn

October 3rd, 2012
12:21 pm

Thank you Joe!!! That makes us all feel great! You are the man……..but this site is for Dawg supporters ……..not fan wannabees

CDawg42

October 3rd, 2012
12:22 pm

Wow…hate to hear this news. Bennett’s absence will be felt this season. Hopefully the next man up steps in and steps up! Get better MB.

7576DAWG

October 3rd, 2012
12:23 pm

I like the idea to pull the Red Shirt off Tibbs, if he is ready. Also , I wouldn’t be so quick to move Mitchell from the defense. Smith get’s beat every game on defense , it is hard to believe someone else is not better. I think Mitchell is better than Smith.
Georgia has plenty of receivers to take Bennetts place. Time for Conley to step up.

c

October 3rd, 2012
12:23 pm

IF we HAD to lose someone, at least it was in the receiving corps.We’ll be fine but tough break for a good kid

drbasic1

October 3rd, 2012
12:24 pm

cockster…..your a moron

MountainDawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:26 pm

Dang it!!! Bennett is the best WR on the team and has All-American potential. I hope his surgery goes very well and he (fully) rehabs asap. In addition, I’d like to see him add 10-12 lbs of muscle for next year.

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:26 pm

Terrible news! Hang in there and keep the faith, Mike…aka…Mr. Reliable

BlameRichtForEverything

October 3rd, 2012
12:27 pm

Can we PLEASE mothball our best players for the rest of the season!!!!

Voyager Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:27 pm

God Bless you Michael. We’ll be praying for you and a complete and speedy recovery!

Columbus Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:27 pm

MB, if you go about your recovery like you have gone about everything else at UGA you will be right back in the saddle next season! You have been a light, and a role model in your time in Athens! As far as the IDIOT Cockster above, you will find out soon enough how many good and consistent receivers UGA has. This is NOT the same Georgia team you have seen in recent years, and for all you moron Cock fans, this game won’t even be as close as any of you think. The P.O.S. Spurrier knows he is going to lose, but he thinks it will be a close game. WRONG. Dawgs take care of business, will win by at least ten, but probably more like two touchdowns. You little Cocks will be so sad.

ATLNative

October 3rd, 2012
12:28 pm

MB you are a DGD! God bless and get well soon!

P_The_Ricker

October 3rd, 2012
12:29 pm

Cockster

October 3rd, 2012
12:16 pm
Bennett was the only good & consistent receiver the doggies have. Big Big Lost! This game just became a for sure win for the Cocks. USC USC USC

I hope that the SC defense is as ignorant/dumb as you and believe that. UGA has the deepest WR corps in the league. aside from swearinger, you’re secondary is suspect at best. going to be fun to watch.

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:30 pm

Well, that just sucks on every level, doesn’t it.

Bernie Matt

October 3rd, 2012
12:30 pm

nobody

October 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Wouldnt mind seeing a patriots style passing game now with Jay Rome and Lynch. At least that way we dont lose too much downfield blocking.

Dawg Haus

October 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Cockster = cock a doodle doofus. Probably just a Techie on here to talk trash when a good kid gets hurt. Losing Bennett will hurt, but Georgia is very deep at WR and USCe’s biggest Achilles heel is the secondary. Georgia still has Brown, King, Wooten, Conley, maybe Mitchell. Tibbs might see some action if the coaches think he’s ready. Thoughts and prayers are with you, MB! DGD!

Spike 80DF

October 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Dern, time for Mitchell to be a full time WR now and the CB’s to step up. Bigtime loss…..

kauai dawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

HUGE LOSS. I love his attitude all around. Even with this news. GREAT kid for sure.

Much more than the lable of possession reciever. He could fly and was obviously M’s favorite target.

Hope he recovers well and back to full health.

Go DAWGS! This is a BIG week!

sandiegodawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

what’s the deal with Justin Scott-Wesley- he looked like a beast in the Spring Game

Eric C.

October 3rd, 2012
12:32 pm

How many players do the Dawgs lose in practice for crying out loud…big blow. Bennett was that go to guy in the tough 3rd down situations…he will be sorely missed and the timing couldn’t be worse.

Ken in Alpharetta

October 3rd, 2012
12:32 pm

Hate it for Bennett and the team. Next man up….! I think #29 is playing with far more of an injury than has been announced. Two big blows for the Dawgs, next man up!!

boots

October 3rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Hate to hear this. He is a good guy. Still, the team is deep and others have to step up their play. Injuries happen, but I hope he recovers quickly.

tony

October 3rd, 2012
12:34 pm

Best reciever on the team plus he was our best blocking reciever. Huge lost for the dawgs.

Ed Pilcher

October 3rd, 2012
12:34 pm

Dawg Haus

October 3rd, 2012
12:34 pm

Good question, sandiegodawg. I was thinking Scott-Wesley would have been a household name by now. Maybe he’ll get his shot on Saturday.

Eric C.

October 3rd, 2012
12:34 pm

I don’t see Lynch picking up the slack this week as he’ll be helping more in protection against SC.

Ed Pilcher

October 3rd, 2012
12:35 pm

We’re done.

Paul in St Auggy

October 3rd, 2012
12:35 pm

Has everybody forgotten Justin Scott Wesley…..the guy can fly

Ed Pilcher

October 3rd, 2012
12:35 pm

DirtyDawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:36 pm

How disheartening. Gotta say that the kid is handling it better than we are. Hopefully he’ll make a full recovery and come back strong next year, and he’ll be the team’s number one inspiration and cheerleader on the sideline. Don’t know who takes his place – perhaps Marlon Brown’s height and speed will be the better choice. I’d also like to see more of Scott-Wesley and if we didn’t need ‘em for pass protection, more to the tight end(s). Regardless, I’m not dealing with it very well right now.

wesley

October 3rd, 2012
12:36 pm

Wow, huge loss!! He is a catching machine! Why is Keith Marshall listed as a sophmore on here??

Sideline Guest

October 3rd, 2012
12:36 pm

I’m wishing this young man a speedy recovery. GOD has the FINAL say on your career. However, I would strongly advise that you talk to teammates, former players, as well as NFL players that has suffered the same type of injury or another type of injury and see how they coped with it. I can tell you that MENTALLY is going to be the toughest part if no one has told you yet. A player on your team RIGHT NOW suffered an injury and worked his way back to being healthy and the COACHES has pretty much written HIM OFF by not giving him the OPPORTUNITY to take as many reps in practice and get back to his normal position. You might not be FORGOTTEN!!!! GOOD LUCK THOUGH!!!

Eric C.

October 3rd, 2012
12:37 pm

No bright spots, but at least SC will have to second-guess their preparations now. I hope Bennett can make a full recovery and be ready for next season.

Here we Go

October 3rd, 2012
12:38 pm

DGD and one of the best players on the team. Get well soon and come back strong next year.We will miss you.

Kim

October 3rd, 2012
12:38 pm

I was saddened to read this about this young man. This GATOR wishes him a speedy recovery!!!!

I-DOG

October 3rd, 2012
12:38 pm

Tough One. Hope he comes back better than ever next year after rehabbing. Best of luck Michael!

Bob

October 3rd, 2012
12:39 pm

What about the McGowen player he looks pretty good when he is in the game. He looks quick and does a nice job returning punts

UT vol

October 3rd, 2012
12:39 pm

jarvis cheater jenkins is next

wesley

October 3rd, 2012
12:40 pm

Keep your head up young man!

Ken in Alpharetta

October 3rd, 2012
12:41 pm

OMG, guess Dawgs should just stay home Saturday, cancel the game……geez, c’mon people. UGA can over come injuries. And, who calls their team “Cocks” anyway?

Columbus Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:41 pm

If any of you idiot Cock fans think that Georgia can’t run against your little team, then you will be in for a HUGE surprise. UGA will run the ball against you and everyone else this year. If I were you I would stop listening to the idiot ESPN pundits bad mouthing the Dawgs. There is extreme bias against UGA in the national media, but after they tear SC a new one this week, they will have a new found respect for the Dawgs, just wait and see. After all of the Gameday hosts, (probably even the turncoat Pollack), pick SC to win, and Georgia embarrasses the OBS, they will change their tune. All except that moron Mark May. Granny Holtz will even become a “Bulldog Believer” after this one’s over.

Girls BBall fan

October 3rd, 2012
12:41 pm

Get well soon. my favorite WR on the team.

DrDawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:42 pm

Fine young man with great talent. He will be back. Time for the rest of the receivers to rise to the occasion.

hornblowermg

October 3rd, 2012
12:44 pm

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:44 pm

I hate it more for him as a kid, a person. But don’t take this the wrong way…..while we were better off with him, (he was certainly a fan favorite) We aren’t going to miss a beat, without him. Like everybody else, he is a function of the system, and whoever is standing where he was standing gets those same balls throw to him.

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
12:45 pm

OK, here is the slogan on the Game Ball for Saturday, to be signed by every Dawg: Win it for Bennett!!