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

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:03 pm

Found Dog! Mitchell last spotted behind the Gamecock secondary….DC didn’t realize he was on the team, and thought Clowney had him! In all seriousness NCBF, Mitchell was superb as a freshman. I think the jump back to offense won’t be quite as intimidating. He is fast, so he is easy to lose.

Bama in Ga

October 3rd, 2012
4:03 pm

Great player and even a better person! Hope you have a speedy recovery.

Good Luck this week,
RTR

Really?

October 3rd, 2012
4:06 pm

As usual joe aka joe jenkins aka several other equally lame handles runs away when his tired sad act is exposed. He is one of many pathetic little nothings on the ajc Georgia blogs who face a bleak existance of loneliness every day and take out their frustrations by writhing in ecstacy at Bennet’s misfortune.

I can’t even begin to understand how pathetic someone has to be to make fun of any injury much less a season ending one for a kid who is the consumate DGD. The fake fans like joe jenkins and any of the numerous names that have been nowhere to be seen after every victory in this undefeated season but are here today predicting doom and gloom are just as disgusting as the trolls who are obvious about it.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
4:06 pm

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:03 pm

Found Dog! Mitchell last spotted behind the Gamecock secondary….DC didn’t realize he was on the team, and thought Clowney had him! In all seriousness NCBF, Mitchell was superb as a freshman. I think the jump back to offense won’t be quite as intimidating. He is fast, so he is easy to lose.
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Ok, but you gotta believe that this uncertainty of where he is going to play will hinder his playing ability in the short-term. Short-term as in Saturday night against one of the best defenses in the nation.

What was/is your coach thinking?

ugab

October 3rd, 2012
4:07 pm

Get well soon. Someone needs to step up.

usc

October 3rd, 2012
4:07 pm

It’s a football injury…this is what happens in football UGA fans. Every team loses key guys every single season. If you’re so good and you have all of this talent, then I am sure you will be fine with this difficult schedule of yours.

DawgNole

October 3rd, 2012
4:09 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.
______________________

Don’t believe you can apply that to the loss of Bennett, who led the team in three major receiving categories and a number of intangibles at his position.

graphite

October 3rd, 2012
4:10 pm

A sincere “I’m sorry this happened to such a fine player”…..RollOn

Mike L.

October 3rd, 2012
4:11 pm

He’s kind of the Roddy White of the WR corps. When they need a play, he’s there. Fortunate that it is the Dawgs deepest position group, but he’ll be missed. The guy still has a big future with the Dawgs and eventually on Sundays.

jsmooth

October 3rd, 2012
4:11 pm

@usc
Stick it up your backside you synical piece of dog squeeze!

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:11 pm

Well………… since Mitchell won’t be the one filling in for Bennett, why wouldhis reps worry us?

Mitchell’s role in the offence was never a function of (M Brown OR M Bennett in the line up) to begin with.. Believe it or not “wr” is not just 7 guys that all do exactly the same thing.

Dawgs2

October 3rd, 2012
4:12 pm

He was really th fourth best wr.i hate he got hurt but the will be ok

mudcatjoe

October 3rd, 2012
4:14 pm

Great news!! :) :)

Dawgs2

October 3rd, 2012
4:15 pm

@ USC stop talkn bout the schedule bc Uga didn’t make it the conference did.if y’all are so great wouldn’t matter who you play just win.lol got a ready made excuse.

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
4:15 pm

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:11 pm

Well………… since Mitchell won’t be the one filling in for Bennett, why wouldhis reps worry us?
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Because everyone on here is saying that Mitchell needs to step up now that Bennet is gone.

Easier said than done, as I have pointed out.

Blake

October 3rd, 2012
4:16 pm

Very sad news to hear about Michael Bennett! Support the Dawgs on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dawg-Report/534572523224904?ref=hl&bookmark_t=page

GoBAMA

October 3rd, 2012
4:16 pm

That is terrible news! I feel sorry for these kids who give their all and something like this happens. Hopefully he can get to surgery shortly and start rehab this week.
Good luck young man! Keep your head up. You will be a better player / person in the future for going through this.

William

October 3rd, 2012
4:16 pm

This makes me sick to my stomach. I feel so down right now. Why did this have to happen right now? Hope he has a speedy recovery. Get well soon. DGD GATA Saturday.

Texas Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:17 pm

Hate to see ANY player get injured, especially an injury this serious. Hope he recovers well and is back better than ever next year.. As for folks stepping up, we’ll just have to see. All the receivers seem to be better this season, but Bennett seemed to always be there in the clutch to bail out Murrary. I’ve yet to see anyone else do that yet — but Saturday is as good a time as any to start!!! Go Dawgs!

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:18 pm

Well, I predict a different person will lead those (3 stats) now. And It’s not as if nobody else can block, or lead, or be a great team mate. Michael Bennett is a product of the system (and obviously all his hard work). It’s not like those passes are just not going to be thrown now.

jab1107

October 3rd, 2012
4:19 pm

Hugh lost for the DAWGS. Praying for a quick recovery. Bennett will definitely be missed, but looking forward to his return next year.

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:20 pm

NCBF, I really don’t know what they have planned. You do have a top ranked D. See any weaknesses? From the stats, your passing game appears to be ranked lower, especially when you consider your superb rushing/sack stats. You are pretty average, but you have way above average pressure on the QB. Your run defense is very stout, statistically. What are you worried about?

Levon

October 3rd, 2012
4:20 pm

Tough loss for the Dawgs…….we will miss Bennett’s speed and hands and blocking….look forward to seeing him back in the starting line-up next Fall for his junior year. The kid practically saved CMR’s job last year with that leaping TD catch just before the half against the Gators….

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:21 pm

I wasn’t speaking on behalf of “everybody else”. Don’t answer MY comment based on thier assumption.

ATL gator

October 3rd, 2012
4:22 pm

The dawgs finally have to deal with a little adversity. Never like seeing injuries, but we were awful last year as a result of several, so I can relate. Time to really see what you’re made of.

honest_abe

October 3rd, 2012
4:26 pm

get better soon michael! dawg nation is wishing you a speedy recovery!!!

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
4:27 pm

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:20 pm

NCBF, I really don’t know what they have planned. You do have a top ranked D. See any weaknesses? From the stats, your passing game appears to be ranked lower, especially when you consider your superb rushing/sack stats. You are pretty average, but you have way above average pressure on the QB. Your run defense is very stout, statistically. What are you worried about?

—————————————
In a game like this, turnovers are what everyone should worry about.

Its simple, but you can’t give the other team the ball and if you have the opportunity to jump on a fumble or snag that interception, you better do it.

Also, to a lesser extent, penalties. Been very pleased at the low number of penalties by Carolina this year.

tech fan

October 3rd, 2012
4:28 pm

This kid is a nice receiver….fun to watch. Hate to hear this…wish him the best for a speedy and full recovery.

Jesus Rocks

October 3rd, 2012
4:29 pm

Steve Spurrier is Jesus.

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:30 pm

And for goodness sakes, You don’t need to copy my (everybody) posts to make your reply. Everybody knows what they said. IF your point is so weak, that you have to piggyback it every time, maybe you aught to actually come up with something a tad more original to say.

tboy

October 3rd, 2012
4:31 pm

put in Scott (#86) it his time

AltamahaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:34 pm

Great, you are pleased with your penalties. Did you really need to cut and paste thier verbatim words, the time and date they were made (especially since it RIGHT above yours) to make THAT point?

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:34 pm

NCBF, agree with all you said, but you didn’t say anything about your D. That is what we were discussing. How would you attack your D? My experience is that the coaches are much, much better at analyzing than we are, so if fans can see it, they can to0. How would you attack the Cocks if you had to do it?

RedDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:37 pm

We love you Micheal stay strong brother. Time for team mates to pick up the slack. GO DAWGS!!!

Dince Vooley

October 3rd, 2012
4:38 pm

Like it matters, with the cupcake schedule they have they can sit all the first team the rest of the season and not even notice

Nothing Could Be Finer

October 3rd, 2012
4:38 pm

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:34 pm

NCBF, agree with all you said, but you didn’t say anything about your D. That is what we were discussing. How would you attack your D? My experience is that the coaches are much, much better at analyzing than we are, so if fans can see it, they can to0. How would you attack the Cocks if you had to do it?

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LB’s are experienced (4 seniors) but kind of slow.

Did yall find anyone to replace Orson Charles yet?

You might be able to use your TE effectively in this game if they are not being used to runblock.

DawgNole

October 3rd, 2012
4:42 pm

nonDawg
October 3rd, 2012
1:05 pm

The article didn’t say how the injury occurred and I know injuries happen. What I don’t understand is why at the collegiate level they are still having full pads, full scrimmages after the season has started.
_______________________

The article clearly states exactly how the injury occurred. Maybe if you weren’t a “nonDawg” posting on a Dawg blog you’d have better reading comprehension skills.

ATL gator

October 3rd, 2012
4:43 pm

two quick things I’ve learned reading these comments:

#1: @Tech Fan: UGA fans think Tech is soft and a bunch of pus****, so you don’t need to be nice on threads. Be honest about how happy this makes you and stop pop-off for once.

#2: The guy that’s copying & pasting threads to make a point is obviously a tool.

Skitty Fritty

October 3rd, 2012
4:49 pm

Joe:
I bet Murray uses his Lynch and Mitchell more now. Way to stay positive Mr. Joe.

DawgNole

October 3rd, 2012
4:52 pm

Red Pants
October 3rd, 2012
2:09 pm

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

Then it’ll probably end in a scoreless tie.

LakeDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:54 pm

Damn! That really hurts. Bennett is really clutch. The Dawgs will miss him. Injuries are a part of football, though. Next man in.

TampaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:56 pm

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…
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Want me to mail you a copy of the Outback Bowl last year? TK and AM have great timing together and Marlon Brown has been big in a few games so far this year also. Bennett is a really good receiver but Malcolm Mitchell is still the best on the team.

TampaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
4:58 pm

Nothing Could Be Finer
October 3rd, 2012
3:37 pm

After football, Mitchell will get a job washing dishes at the Lost Dog Diner.
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Only if that is some kind of code for “playing in the NFL on Sundays”

DawgNole

October 3rd, 2012
5:00 pm

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……………
_________________

Maybe if you didn’t SCREAM . . . .

CHDawg

October 3rd, 2012
5:01 pm

We have a bruiser for a TE. Looks like a 70s pro TE in build. I don’t think he will be much of a threat to outrun your corners! The number two has pretty good speed and great hands. I notice that you are ranked near the top in run D, but the teams you have played haven’t run very well. They are ranked 105, 104, 122, 58, and 87 for run offense, so I am sure Bobo will be running some to see how you do. This is much like the Ds we have run against; they aren’t ranked very high, with the exception of Missouri. Should be interesting to see what both staffs cook up.

TampaDawg

October 3rd, 2012
5:02 pm

usc
October 3rd, 2012
4:07 pm

It’s a football injury…this is what happens in football UGA fans. Every team loses key guys every single season. If you’re so good and you have all of this talent, then I am sure you will be fine with this difficult schedule of yours.
———————
Still harping on the schedule I see. First off, USCe fans all whined last year when Lattimore went down so chill with the “it’s a football injury” crap .. sound like that little lady coach of yours. But to talk about the schedule? Really? No one is fearing LSU anymore and the rest of the west outside of Bama is mediocre .. at best. The east is the real test this year and before you follow Stevie’s rants about how bad UGAs schedule is, keep on thing in mind .. YOU’RE ON IT.

Demosthenes

October 3rd, 2012
5:04 pm

One of the common things you can look at in all those “Gurshall” highlights from this year is Michael Bennett blocking downfield. He will be missed this year. He’s a DGD.

LHarding Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
5:04 pm

We are headed over to Columbia on Friday. Hopefully it will be a good win for Georgia. On my last visit over there, we won 19-13 and I would gladly take that score this year. Some interesting stats this year:

Total Defense GA #55 SC #13
Total Offense #11 #59

It’s games like these that make the great players go to Georgia.

DawgNole

October 3rd, 2012
5:05 pm

AltamahaDawg
October 3rd, 2012
4:34 pm

Great, you are pleased with your penalties. Did you really need to cut and paste thier verbatim words, the time and date they were made (especially since it RIGHT above yours) to make THAT point?
____________________

Do you really need to be so anal about what format one poster uses in replying to another poster?

LHarding Dawg

October 3rd, 2012
5:05 pm

Total Defense GA #55 SC #13
Total Offense GA #11 SC #59