Georgia announced Monday the sophomore from Newnan will require season-ending surgery after being injured on the 13th play of Saturday’s game.
“It was a shock, and it was a shock to him, too,” Richt said. “He came into the training room (Sunday) just thinking his calf hurt. He didn’t even know he hurt it.”
Goodman was injured when tight end Martrez Milner ran into the back of his legs while making a catch on Georgia’s second drive of the game. Goodman was blocking and was supposed to have run his route further to be out of Milner’s path. Goodman played the remainder of the game and had one catch for 29 yards.
“He played his tail off,” Richt said. “He played with a lot of energy. He was blocking extremely well. He was running nice routes. He made some plays.”
Goodman was not available for comment Monday, but fellow wide receiver A.J. Bryant said he had never heard of someone finishing a game with a torn ACL.
“He thought he hurt his calf,” Bryant said. “He was just rubbing his calf and kept stretching his calf.”
“Wow,” sophomore Mohamed Massaquoi said. “That just shows what kind of character he has. He’s a strong-minded guy.”
Unlike Sean Bailey, who is sitting out this year after tearing his ACL last season, Goodman is expected to return next season. He will finish this year with 13 catches for 187 yards.
The injury was announced less than 18 hours after Richt, unaware of the problem, bragged on Goodman’s development.
“Right now, I think the guy who’s stepping up the most, the guy trying to make plays blocking and route-running and catching the ball is Demiko Goodman,” Richt said Sunday. “I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen for him.”
Bryant, Massaquoi and Mikey Henderson all are playing at less than 100 percent due to injuries, but all three will play against No. 5 Auburn on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Bryant, who is bothered by hip flexor, groin and, most recently, back injuries, estimated he’s at 75 percent of his full capacity.
“I’m still pushing through, man,” he said. “I have to play.”
Massaquoi has hip flexor, groin and hamstring issues, and Henderson has a rib injury. Mario Raley is doubtful due to head and neck injuries suffered against Kentucky.
The thin wide receiving corps should mean more chances for true freshman Kris Durham, who caught his fifth and sixth passes of the season Saturday. Durham looked like he would be an integral part of the offense after making two catches in the first game of the year, but he hasn’t caught a ball in six of the Bulldogs’ 10 games.
Georgia’s coaches are not displeased with Durham’s progress, but he has yet to fully make the jump from high school to college, Richt said.
“It’s a whole lot different than it was at Calhoun. He’s a lot like (quarterback Matthew) Stafford, learning as he goes,” Richt said. “Just the fact that we chose to use him this year is an indication of how well he’s been progressing, but it’s very difficult to take things over as a true freshmen.”
Goodman’s injury is the eighth season-ending injury suffered by Georgia (6-4, 3-4 SEC) this year. He joins wide receiver Sean Bailey (knee) and T.J. Gartrell (knee), safety Antavious Coates (knee), cornerback Thomas Flowers (foot), running back Thomas Brown (knee), fullback Des Williams (shoulder), offensive lineman Zeb McKinzey (shoulder) and place-kicker Brandon Coutu (hamstring).
Georgia also has lost starters Michael Turner, Chester Adams, Joe Tereshinski, Mikey Henderson and Martrez Milner for a game or more due to injury.
The Bulldogs have only wide receivers healthy enough to play heading into the Auburn game.
Player Catches Yards
Mohamed Masaquoi 19 282
A.J. Bryant 12 192
Kenneth Harris 11 214
Mikey Henderson 7 44
Kris Durham 6 67
Michael Moore 1 19