Last season, as the Dawgs were celebrating Todd Gurley‘s first touchdown of the season in Death Valley, Mitchell leapt for joy. That joy quickly turned to concern as he landed awkwardly and gingerly trotted off the field. The television crews caught it and assumed an ankle may have turned, but as the game unfolded, Mitchell was nowhere to be found. Despair soon set in as the dreaded acronym “ACL” flashed across the screen and Mitchell emerged from the locker room in street clothes and crutches.
A potential All-SEC wide receiver gone for the year during a celebration. It was quite an omen for the rest of the season as numerous Dawgs went down with injuries. None had more impact than Mitchell, a proven target with elusiveness and speed that cannot be coached. Although the Dawg offense put up some gaudy numbers, Mitchell’s absence was certainly felt in the five losses where walk-ons were seeing significant playing time.
A year has passed and Mitchell has recovered nicely, running routes during the summer and making cuts without pain. However, on July 28, Mitchell made a cut during a voluntary session with quarterback Hutson Mason and felt pain in his knee. In the ambulance and to arthroscopic surgery went Mitchell and Mark Richt can only shake his head at his bad luck. Sources have indicated that the injury is minor and he should be ready for Clemson. Will he be 100% though? That is highly doubtful.
This follows news that fellow wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley is still not ready and tight end Jay Rome‘s toe injury is still hampering him as well. Walking wounded in the receiving corps is not what the Dawgs need for Mason’s first season opener against a highly-ranked opponent. Michael Bennett and Chris Conley may be better suited staying in their dorm rooms until Aug. 30 to prevent any more casualties in Athens.
Richt and Mike Bobo can only hope that time, in fact, does heal all wounds. In Mitchell’s case, 29 days may not be enough.