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

tndawg

October 3rd, 2012
1:31 pm

I dont have any faith in murrray to win the big game.

NP represent

October 3rd, 2012
1:31 pm

My boy from North Paulding Chris Conley going to finally get his chance to shine. Not sure what took bobo so long to get him involved. Was our best WR at the end of last year

Chris Mike

October 3rd, 2012
1:35 pm

Big blow, but don’t panic dogs fan. One position that we are deep at is Wr. I love Bennet and what he stand for the team, but Malcom Mitchell will fill the void on the outside and Marlon will fill for the inside. Lets go! motivation is high right now and the lost will trigger us to come more complete as a whole. Aron need to get fimiliar with somebody else like the TE.

WDE

October 3rd, 2012
1:37 pm

Best of luck with the rehab MB your truly a DGD ! And to all the classy comments from the fans of other teams well done, well done indeed.

hit a single

October 3rd, 2012
1:38 pm

Bennett is what college football should be about. Great kid that appreciates the opportunity he has gotten. Tough luck, but he will be back, you can count on that.

True ATL Fan

October 3rd, 2012
1:39 pm

Hell of a kid that approaches the game and life with the right approach. Best wishes to a speedy recovery. Mithcell, Conley, Scott-Mitchell, and Tibbs no time to wait for next year. Step up and help King, Brown, and Wooten out. 7-deep at WR aint bad.

BamaATL

October 3rd, 2012
1:40 pm

As a Bama fan, let offer my regrets and best wishes to this kid and the dawg nation. No one ever wants to see a player go down, especially in college. I never feel as bad for the pros when they get hurt (since they are still making lots of money), but these kids give dedicate their college years to this sports, and it sucks to when one of them gets hurt. I hope the kid has a speedy recovery.

Buzz 2011

October 3rd, 2012
1:41 pm

Rut Row….Trouble in Dawg Nation…

rawdawg

October 3rd, 2012
1:42 pm

Gah! Bennett was having a heck of a season. He felt like the go-to guy out there. Get well soon!

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
1:43 pm

dawgfan, I for one do not think that was douche-like. I agree with you. I know we are all supposed to say he was “great” (and we do love the rare big lanky white boy WR), but he was merely doing his job, as have the rest. I am sure he would agree.

Chucktown Gamecock

October 3rd, 2012
1:45 pm

From a Gamecock fan, hate to see this. Always want to beat the opponent at their best. Best of luck to the young man in his recovery. UGA still has tons of talent. Should be a great one Saturday night. Go Cocks!!

J-Dub

October 3rd, 2012
1:48 pm

Terrible news….wishing you a speedy recovery MB. DGD indeed!! Coach Richt, it’s time to introduce the world to Justin Scott Wesley!

dawgfacedboy

October 3rd, 2012
1:48 pm

Just lost our best all around receiver.

Az DAWG fan

October 3rd, 2012
1:49 pm

What a loss for the DAWGS…….going to miss you Michael I and pray for a successful surgery and rehab.. You are a damn good DAWG.

G-Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
1:49 pm

Kind words from BamaAtl…thanks bro!

joe jenkins

October 3rd, 2012
1:51 pm

@atl dawg….hey bro why don’t you grow one. yes i do live in this sorry pathetic state….how is predicting us to lose to a team that has beat us tw o years in a roww.. how about how bad our offense does in columbia……if we lose to the chickens,i think richt and grantham should resign….because if we cant beat them this year…then will when we? we lose about our whole defense in 2013….you disney douche bag

kingdaddy

October 3rd, 2012
1:52 pm

Tough luck Michael. Make the best of your downtime and hurry back…URADGD…

Dawg Fud

October 3rd, 2012
1:53 pm

Love this kid. Hate this for him.

Joe

October 3rd, 2012
1:57 pm

This guy is a CLASS ACT……hang in there Michael…..Jerimiah 29…..For I know the plans I have for you

“God has a plan for me and everything happens for a reason,” Bennett posted on Twitter this morning. “Get ready for a historic season Dawg nation. Our boys are gonna get it done!”

I hope your teammates will step up…….

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
1:57 pm

dem dawgs gon win dat natinal champinship anysways, don make no nevrmind, GO DWAGS!!!

DawginLex

October 3rd, 2012
1:57 pm

My favorite Dawg player on the team. Tough loss. He will be a vocal leader on the sideline but not playing is a big loss.

No more defense for MM26 and along with Brown and King and Wooten, we are still talented. Might see some more throws to Lynch and Rome now also.

We still have a offense capable of hanging 30+ on anyone including SC

JvilleDawg

October 3rd, 2012
1:58 pm

Sheesh people come down off the ledge. Bennett is a big loss no doubt, but now is the time when UGA has a chance to prove we’re truly worthy of being ranked with the big boys.
Average teams fold when they lose a playmaker
Good teams figure out a way to survive the loss of the playmaker
Great teams step up and say ______________! you’re up next and keep on trucking.

It’s never a good thing to lose a player of Bennett’s caliber, but if there is a silver lining, you know SC’s D-coordinator had to be game planning for MB. Also, maybe A.Murray got a little too comfortable leaning on him as well. We have SO much talent at the WR spot, I don’t think we’ll miss a beat.

Look for T.King to have his big breakout game of the season, look for A. Lynch and J. Rome to get more looks, and look for Mitchell, Conley, Wooten, and Brown to all play inspired ball and win one for the kid.

Our Junkyard D will be back, Tenn was a blip on the radar screen, and our D’s timing was off from a rusty Rambo and Tree.

UGA 38 – SC 24 mark it down!!!

Go Dawgs!!!

JvilleDawg

October 3rd, 2012
1:59 pm

Oh and a speedy recovery to M. Bennett – you will be in my prayers!

Gary

October 3rd, 2012
2:00 pm

Hey Buzz 2011, go and spend your day trying to analyze how your worthless team and coach lost to Middle Tennessee State. Should be easy. Tech = Loosers

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
2:00 pm

i like dogs.

ZinoDawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:01 pm

@Buzz 2011 – Middle Tennessee just scored again……

MB is a DGD and the best downfield blocker we have. Time for Conley to step in.

GATA!

HoneyBooBooDawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:01 pm

@dannyglover then DWAGS are some gud team. Caint wait to see them this weekend…too bad I’m picking up garbage on the side of the road.

Gary

October 3rd, 2012
2:04 pm

No time to panic, this is football and kids get hurt. I am actually surprised they have managed to stay this healthy considering how much time some guys are seeing the field. Someone else will step up. That it how the game is played. Everyone starts loosing guys to injuries. As long as we avoid the suspensions we will be fine.

Chilly-Dawgs

October 3rd, 2012
2:05 pm

I do not think we will recover from this one…. this one hurts.

Really?

October 3rd, 2012
2:05 pm

I won’t pretend losing MB doesn’t hurt. The guy is the definition of a DGD. He is a tremendous blocker, unselfish, nice hands and almost a certainity to make the catch especially when Georgia had to have it. However, this is a position Georgia is deep at and blessed with talent. Yes indeed one of the as yet “quiet” guys who has not seen the field much will have to step up. He won’t have to fill MB’s shoes as both a blocker and receiver but he will need to in one of those categories and be solid in the other. Don’t panic Dawg Nation because that classless egomaniac in cock country would love that.

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
2:05 pm

ya, don panic yall, we stil gon win dat natinal champinchip, dem dwags cant loose

Buckeye

October 3rd, 2012
2:06 pm

Tough luck dogs. He is one lame dog. Go Cocks!

Red Pants

October 3rd, 2012
2:09 pm

First fan base to properly use “loose” and “lose” wins the game.

DawginLex

October 3rd, 2012
2:09 pm

buckeye

You are a trashy baboon to say that about a kid getting hurt.

Mark Richt

October 3rd, 2012
2:10 pm

Thats it , Kiss my ass, I quit

SteveDawgFan

October 3rd, 2012
2:12 pm

Buckeye you’re an idiot. The team needs to win one for the Bennett. You’re a DGD MB. Hold your head high.

beebee

October 3rd, 2012
2:15 pm

I admit, I love watching this guy in action. And that Georgia offense.
Sorry for dawgnation to lose this talent for the rest of this year.
To borrow a sorry little slogan of another team we all know, Bulldogs, RISE UP!

WDE

October 3rd, 2012
2:15 pm

@DawginLex you can’t really get on Buckey after all he is just living up to his name.

HoneyBooBooDawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:15 pm

Then DWAGS are gud!!! I would go and see one of them games except I’m currently in house arrest for going to 1st base on a LSU guy in New Orleans.

Vince Doodley

October 3rd, 2012
2:21 pm

just put malcolm mitchell back on offense. UGA will be fine. Stuff happens

Gamecocky

October 3rd, 2012
2:22 pm

As a Gamecock fan who is a Georgia native and still live here; I really have the highest regard for Michael Bennett,the best and clutch wideout on the Ga. team.With the biggest game of the year,at least for me,it will be advantage Gamecocks with Bennett out of the lineup.I wish him a full recovery for next year and beyond…..any team or individual is only as good as their competition,to be the best,you have to beat the best at that given day. With that said GO COCKS !!!!!!!

Z Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:23 pm

Great loss. Get well soon Michael.

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
2:24 pm

i don no yall, them cocks is good too, are yall sure we gon win dis one. if we aint, how da hel we gon win dat natinal champinchimp. im woried yall

D ' O H !!!

October 3rd, 2012
2:27 pm

How bad is it for the tekies………. ESPN’s Bottom 10 #5…. And the hits just keep coming..
http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/page/bottom10121003/bieber-fever-the-bottom-10

Chilly-Dawgs

October 3rd, 2012
2:28 pm

“Really” who responded to me above: When Bennett is not in there it changes the whole dynamic of the offense. Don’t think for one minute this will not disrupt Murray’s passing game. There is a rhythm between the 2 that will be lost for the season. Remember that when you watch this Saturday…

D ' O H !!!

October 3rd, 2012
2:30 pm

Buckeye is just living up to that OSU tradition of classless fans!!! Do we really expect anything different. This tool has been quiet for a long time and now feels comfortable coming out of his cave. Not to worry suckeye, no one has forgotten about that filth laded program up there in Ohio!

ARdawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:30 pm

Tough tough break MB. DGD. Get it ready for next year. Lots of passes waiting for you

DIT

October 3rd, 2012
2:31 pm

@ Chill-Dawgs – There was a very good conformity between Bennett and Murray. I just hope that Murray & Mitchel can get it together fast!

Really?

October 3rd, 2012
2:33 pm

joe jenkins

I see after a week of riding the bandwagon and only throwing a few jabs at Georgia you are back to your true self. No one here thinks you are a Georgia fan. You are a coward who hides behind the fan label so you can try and irritate your betters.

You told everyone exactly who you are when you started a post with “I hate to say this but,” and then proceeded to gleefully say how Georgia would now lose to the cocks and the Dawgs entire offensive plan was doomed.

I have called you out since you slithered onto these blogs. You always reply with that patented troll comment about being a fan but not drinking the kool aid. Anyone that says that REALLY means “I am a doosh that is afraid to declare a team because my self worth is so tiny much like my organs.” Every week you have predicted tragedy and a probable Georgia loss. Strangely after Georgia’s inevitable win this season you don’t show up to celebrate the win as most every single other regular poster does.

WOW!!! A ‘true fan” who is always negative, who made a list of a dozen teams that are better than Georgia, and who never posts after a win. I stand corrected with all those qualifications you have to be a fan and not a gutless little loser with no life, no friends, no job and only his ajc posts to mark he ever lived at all.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
2:33 pm

JvilleDawg

October 3rd, 2012
1:58 pm

It’s never a good thing to lose a player of Bennett’s caliber, but if there is a silver lining, you know SC’s D-coordinator had to be game planning for MB.

—————————————
Seriously doubt that Ward was gameplanning for this guy.

But, whatever makes you feel better, I guess.