After a lackluster showing against the Buffalo Bulls, the Georgia Bulldogs depth chart was not expected to change much. However, three ankle sprains and a standout performance later, Mark Richt was forced to adjust his depth chart.
Of most interest on the week 2 depth chart was the status of cornerback/wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
Mitchell missed the season opener due to an ankle sprain and at the time, there was no timetable for his return. Georgia did not require his services against Buffalo but he will be needed against The cornerback did not practice on Monday but the depth chart, released Tuesday, was a good indication of his playing status for this weekend.
At his position of corner, Mitchell was listed as the starter for the Georgia Bulldogs but had the word “OR” next to his name. The “OR” was listed on the depth chart because beneath Mitchell, freshman Devin Bowman also had his name in bold-face print.
The fact that Mitchell and Bowman are listed as co-starters at cornerback tempers expectations that Mitchell will play this weekend. Bowman filled in admirably for Malcolm Mitchell against Buffalo but the team would rather have Bowman in a nickel or dime role against Missouri.
“Devin will have a great challenge this weekend for sure” said Richt in his Tuesday press conference. “All of our corners and defensive backs will. Missouri has these outstanding receivers that are really good at what they do. Our corners have to play up and get after it, and that’s where they have to use their quickness and their toughness and ball skills to take care of business.”
Mitchell, however, returned to practice on Tuesday albeit in a limited capacity. His status will be updated later this week but if he can not go, Devin Bowman will start in his place.
Another interesting change to the depth chart for the Georgia Bulldogs comes at kick returner. Branden Smith was listed as the starter last week but now shares the title with freshman running back Todd Gurley. Gurley returned a kick 100 yards for a touchdown on his first return last weekend and is deserving of the honor.
Gurley may have garnered the starting nod at one position but is still listed as the co-second tailback with Keith Marshall. After his 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns, there was a slight chance that Gurley may have climbed to no.1 on the depth chart.
“We usually don’t decide until Thursday how we’re going to decide who starts” said Richt.” We’ll have a guestimate by about Thursday after practice, but I would think you’ll see more of the same as far as the guys who got carries. You’ll probably see the same guys getting carries, but it’s just a matter of how many. I think a lot of people wonder why (Todd) Gurley didn’t get more carries. Part of it was that we were splitting time, and part was that after his touchdown run, he was out of commission for awhile.”
The depth chart remains the same for the Georgia Bulldogs despite those two changes but there is something else to take away from the depth chart.
Once again, freshman John Theus is listed as the starting right tackle for the Bulldogs. Theus sprained his ankle in Saturday’s game and was seen in a boot on the sidelines. Ankle sprains are known to linger for players and it was unsure how long Theus would miss.Richt noted in his Tuesday conference that he was hopeful about Theus’ status for Missouri. The freshman did not practice Monday or Tuesday but was seen practicing in a non-contact jersey on Wednesday.
Although Theus practiced on Wednesday, Mark Richt was reluctant to say whether or not he would play against Missouri.
Chris Lionetti covers the Georgia Bulldogs for Rant Sports.
Follow him on Twitter at:@ChrisLionetti