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

22 SEC Titles

October 3rd, 2012
2:35 pm

Hate hearing this. All these kids put so much time and effort in their careers. Bama has lost 4 to knee injuries this year and many games left on the schedule. Next man up provides an opportunity…

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
2:35 pm

hey yall, i herd dat game gon be on the espn, any yall got espn, i can come over and watch it wit you, i bring dat chips an dimp.

Ga Dawg81

October 3rd, 2012
2:37 pm

No doubt this is a big loss, but every team loses players at some point. This is when you find out what kind of team you have. Someone has to step up and take his place. Some of you on here act like the season is over. We have capable people to step in. We may not have one player that fits all his characteristics but I am sure the coaches will use multiple players to fill his role.

mom dawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:37 pm

One of my favorite players. Don’t trust USC’s defense. They put out kentucky’s quarterback last week.

Stiffneck

October 3rd, 2012
2:39 pm

@ Chill-Dawgs – true, those two had it clicking. Seems pretty much the reason he was the the teams leading receiver. Could be a problem Saturday. Not enough reps with MM.

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
2:39 pm

ya yall, like ga dawg says, this season aint over, we still got a bunch a games to play and the natinal champinchimp game, let me kno if i can come over and watch it wit you

jojo

October 3rd, 2012
2:40 pm

God bless you Michael. Just like you said, God has a plan for you. Okay, Marlon and Chris, your turn to shine. Go Dawgs

ARdawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:42 pm

D’OH

You are correct sir. I would have expected nothing less from Bugeye errrr Buckeye

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
2:43 pm

jojo

October 3rd, 2012
2:40 pm

God bless you Michael. Just like you said, God has a plan for you. Okay, Marlon and Chris, your turn to shine. Go Dawgs
—————————–
Hasn’t Marlon had multiple chances to shine?

Really?

October 3rd, 2012
2:44 pm

chlly

I was not responding to you as you can tell from the time stamp. That was just evidence of how intuitve and brilliant I am. I am not sure if you are one of the many “fans” who hide behind a dawg nickname or if you are just an extreme pessimist. Murray has spread the ball around a lot this year and will contiue to do so. You REALLY go out on a limb with your dire predicitions.

“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…” So you are predicting that since MB is not in the game Murray will be unable to throw to him? Incredible!!!! How did you figure that out? Lets hope spurrier doesn’t see your post.

Gamecocky

October 3rd, 2012
2:47 pm

WHAT HAPPENED TO MY POST ?????

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
2:49 pm

chill, dont argu wit dat really guy, he no too much stuff. hey, can i com watch the dawgs game at ur house

HBC owns Uga

October 3rd, 2012
2:51 pm

Sorry to Dawgs. Thats a tough loss.

NC Bulldog

October 3rd, 2012
2:52 pm

Michael, so sorry but keep your spirits up and be the team cheerleader on the sidelines! Keep up your hard work on making that knee healthy again for next year! Dawgs are going to win big!!!!!!!!!

GO DAWGS!

Gamecocky

October 3rd, 2012
2:55 pm

WON’T WASTE MY TIME WITH THIS BLOG ANYMORE, JUST TRYIN’ TO GIVE MICHAEL BENNETT THE RESPECT HE DESERVES AND WAS RESPECTFUL AND NOT TOO LONG IN POST……..LAST TIME THAT WILL HAPPEN FOR THIS GEORGIA NATIVE WHO JUST HAPPENED TO GO TO USC IN 1973…….TYPICAL AJC AND UGA LOWCLASS……………

Stiffneck

October 3rd, 2012
2:56 pm

Enter your comments here

Kramer

October 3rd, 2012
2:57 pm

Sorry to hear about this for a fine person first and a solid receiver second. That said, it is time for Conley and Brown to step up and fill the void. They have the talent now show the heart. This team will be fine.

HoneyBooBooDawg

October 3rd, 2012
2:57 pm

@dannyglover…you can come to my house and watch them DWAGS…I need to blow up one of the tires and git that racoon off da couch.

Kramer

October 3rd, 2012
2:58 pm

Gamecocky, settle down. Sometimes there is a glitch and you have to go back and repost. No conspiracy here gamecocky.

dolla dolla bill

October 3rd, 2012
2:58 pm

and it begins…..see ya in memphis losers….

dawglover

October 3rd, 2012
3:01 pm

thanx boo boo, but i’m alergy to racoon hair and bites

Vance

October 3rd, 2012
3:02 pm

I admire Bennett so much. He plays hard every play, blocks when he is not the receiver, helps his mates up after every play. He shines in every way for our Dawgs. I wish him a full recovery. He will be missed, but not forgotten for his great contribution to this team.

Chilly-Dawgs

October 3rd, 2012
3:05 pm

“Really” – What I was saying is Murray has a connection to Bennett unlike any other receiver on the team. That should be obvious to a brilliant man such as yourself – (kidding).

He does not have a ‘go to’ man anymore – Bennett was it. When you take him out of the equation it disrupts the passing game…The Domino Effect…

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:09 pm

Hey Chicken Lips(NCBF), who do you think he was game planning for? Bennett was the leading receiver on the leading offense in the SEC and Ward is the DC of the team that plays said team this week. You don’t think too highly of your coaches do you? You are going to keep this up until you earn the title officially–Chicken Brains!

FB

October 3rd, 2012
3:11 pm

Chris Conley: prepare to step up.

We will miss Bennett but this just puts more pressure on Brown, Conley and Wooten.

GATA

[...] The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting that Georgia pass catcher Michael Bennett will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Bennett has been a key player in a very impressive Georgia offense that has averaged 48.2 points per game thus far this season. [...]

FB

October 3rd, 2012
3:12 pm

Gamecocky – please keep your promise and go away.

dawgfan

October 3rd, 2012
3:14 pm

“He does not have a ‘go to’ man anymore – Bennett was it. When you take him out of the equation it disrupts the passing game…The Domino Effect…”

If that kind of weak azz crap happens we aren’t the #5 team in the nation and never had a snowball’s chance in hell at winning a championship with or without MB. That’s all I’ve got to say. Better to find out now than to get our hopes up and find out later I suppose. Thanks for your input.

Please spare me all the mindless psychobabble about how this is going to affect the team. Here’s a newsflash for some of you people: We aren’t the only team that has to deal with injuries. I saw the other day where Bama lost one of their starting wide recievers to a knee injury too. I doubt anyone over there is crying in their milk about it. I bet Saban hasn’t lost a wink of damn sleep over a “dominoe effect” with the passing game and I seriously doubt Richt and Bobo have either. Give me a freaking break. Injuries happen. Just line up and play the damn game.

I’m tired of all the excuses. This is a big game and we better freaking win it.

Thanks.

mudcatjoe

October 3rd, 2012
3:19 pm

blackandwhitestripes

October 3rd, 2012
3:20 pm

Hate to see any athlete get hurt. Hope he will be back soon.

DAWGinVA

October 3rd, 2012
3:22 pm

I am heart broken. Michael was my favorite Dawg. He played hard every play, blocked incredibly well and when he caught the ball, which he was really good at, he was fast as lightning. As a matter of fact, I read last year that other members of the team called him “White Lightning”. Just a quality kid, always tweeting positive messages. I am confident he will come back strong next year. I’ll be praying for you Michael.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
3:22 pm

Ward’s defensive philosophy won’t change with this injury.

Expect tons of pressure on the QB without having to blitz and of course stuffing the run (what they do best).

SCDawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:22 pm

I will be going to the game this weekend and I hope some takes his place as a big time blocker from the WR position. MM it is your time to be the hero.

x

October 3rd, 2012
3:24 pm

Dang now he will have to use his UGAY education. Pizza hut is hiring.

GTBob

October 3rd, 2012
3:25 pm

Thats too bad for him. Not really that big of a loss for UGA though.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
3:25 pm

SCDawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:22 pm

I will be going to the game this weekend and I hope some takes his place as a big time blocker from the WR position. MM it is your time to be the hero.

—————————-
Malcolm Mitchell is a lost dog.

You can blame the coaching staf for that one.

Jake

October 3rd, 2012
3:28 pm

Spurrier left a gin game in 1974 owing me 100.00. He has lotsa class.

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:30 pm

Chicken Lips,
I was merely responding to your post:
>>Seriously doubt that Ward was gameplanning for this guy…But, whatever makes you feel better, I guess.<< So you are the DC of SC, and you are playing to number one offense in the SEC, and you have no plan for the number one receiver on the team? Well, yes that would make us feel better. Maybe you think Ward is drinking with the boys and figures Clowney will just handle Georgia? I suspect he knows a little more about football than you credit him.

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:31 pm

Chicken Lips, Mitchell may be a lost Dawg by your secondary, especially since you told us your DC doesn’t even plan for our receivers.

phillip

October 3rd, 2012
3:32 pm

I am a fan of one of your most heated (hated?) rivals….but I am very sorry to hear this news. Get well soon young man.

crusherdawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:33 pm

Hate to hear. Get well soon. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!

chuck

October 3rd, 2012
3:36 pm

This is a horrible loss for the Bulldog nation. Michael was a fine young man and his family is outstanding. My positive thoughts and prayers go out to them.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
3:37 pm

After football, Mitchell will get a job washing dishes at the Lost Dog Diner.

Realistic fan

October 3rd, 2012
3:37 pm

Horrible break for a classy young man. Possibly our best receiver and certainly the best clutch guy. Hope we really get Mitchell on the field more and stretch out SC defense. God Bless you Michael Bennett.

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:41 pm

It is likelier that your cornerbacks will be washing dishes at the team cafeteria–the lost dog, diner.

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
3:46 pm

joe, I understand that Clemson also offers a very fine “anybody but Carolina” fan club membership. Perhaps thats more your speed.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
3:54 pm

LOST DOG REPORT

Name: Malcome Mitchell
Height: 6-1
Weight: 184

Last seen somewhere between offense and defense, but could be anywhere really.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
3:58 pm

In all seriousness, dogs fans can’t feel very good about having to rely on Mitchell especially since he hasn’t had very many reps.

Guess all those suspensions earlier this year are still showing some effects.

lizard man

October 3rd, 2012
3:59 pm

does this sound a bit familiar??—-You lose a starter at practice?—-I could see it in a game—-but———————what next? never mind

ugab

October 3rd, 2012
4:00 pm

Wow!! That is a big blow.