UGA WR Michael Bennett expected to return this season after surgery

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

Michael Bennett suffered a torn meniscus vs. Tennessee. (USATSI)
Michael Bennett suffered a torn meniscus vs. Tennessee. (USATSI)
If you're Mark Richt or a Georgia supporter, at least it's not all bad news on the injury front.

It is, of course, mostly bad news, thanks to the torn ACLs of Keith Marshall and Justin Scott-Wesley and a knee injury to junior wide receiver Michael Bennett -- all suffered during the Bulldogs' overtime escape from Tennessee. But per the Associated Press, Georgia was able to announce Tuesday that Bennett had "only" suffered a torn meniscus and would be able to return sometime this season.

Bennett underwent arthroscopic surgery Tuesday and will miss the Bulldogs' home game vs. Missouri on Saturday at the barest minimum.

With 14 catches for 176 yards and two touchdowns, Bennett was Georgia's third-leading receiver on the 2013 season when he left the game against Tennessee. But his absence nonetheless looms as an even bigger one than that suggests, thanks to the loss of the Bulldogs' second-leading receiver (Scott-Wesley) vs. the Vols and top 2012 receiver Malcolm Mitchell Week 1 vs. Clemson.

Bennett is also one of Aaron Murray's most experienced targets, hauling in 32 passes for 320 yards as a redshirt freshman in 2011. He was the team's leading receiver with 24 catches when he tore his ACL in practice five games into the 2012 season.

But at least he'll be back, and at least the Bulldogs still have leading receiver Chris Conley (20 receptions, 318 yards), senior Rantavious Wooten, and tight end Arthur Lynch. Murray said, per the AP, that freshmen Reggie Davis and Kenneth Towns could see an increased role, too.

"Those young guys, especially the receivers, are going to have to work a little extra hard this week," Murray said. "We've already started getting some extra time in yesterday working on some routes after practice and we're going to have to do that every day this week. Working before practice, during practice, and after practice to make sure our timing is on.

"I've got to make sure they know what I'm looking for out there."

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