The Georgia football program confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that Bulldogs star wide receiver George Pickens has sustained an ACL injury in spring practice. The injury will require surgery for the junior, though no timetable has been set for his return.
"The good news is that the MRI showed it to be an isolated injury with no other structures involved," coach Kirby Smart said. "George is a hard worker. I know he will bring the same work ethic to rehab that he shows in practice every day."
Pickens is easily one of Georgia's best returning players. After leading the team in receptions and touchdowns as a freshman in 2019, Pickens' sophomore campaign saw him once again finish tops in touchdown receptions (six) while tying for the team lead in receptions (36) in only eight games. He was particularly critical to the passing game in Georgia's final two games of the year against Missouri and Cincinnati, racking up three touchdown catches and back-to-back 100-yard games.
One of the offseason stories for the 2021 college football season was the development of Georgia's offense. With JT Daniels finally entrenched as the starting quarterback, perhaps the Bulldogs would finally unleash the more wide-open offense that was anticipated when Todd Monken was hired to be the offensive coordinator. The Bulldogs have other weapons in the passing game, including tight end Darnell Washington, who came on strong late as a freshman last year.
Still, Pickens' injury is a big blow to a loaded offense looking to take the next step.