Starting left tackle Trinton Sturdivant sustained a knee injury during the Bulldogs’ afternoon scrimmage Monday. Head coach Mark Richt said Sturdivant was taken to the hospital for tests, but the injury initially appeared serious.
“I don't know for sure yet how bad, but it swelled up pretty good," Richt said.
Richt said the injury occurred during a passing play in which quarterback Matthew Stafford stepped up in the pocket to avoid the rush coming from both defensive end positions. When Stafford moved up, the two tackles – including Sturdivant – and the two ends collided, with Sturdivant coming up lame.
“All four of them just kind of ran into each other,” Richt said.
If the injury proves to be season-ending, it would be a huge blow for the Bulldogs, who have already suffered through a rash of preseason bumps and bruises.
Sturdivant, who at 6-foot-5, 293 pounds, protects Stafford’s blind side, started all 13 games for Georgia last season and was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Richt said sophomore Josh Davis filled in at left tackle for the remaining first-team snaps during Monday’s scrimmage, but that there were other options the coaching staff may consider, including junior Vince Vance, sophomore Clint Boling and freshman Cordy Glenn. Boling will sit out the first game of the season, however, due to a suspension for an off-field incident.
Richt also said there was a possibility right tackle Kiante Tripp could slide over to the other side of the line if Sturdivant was to miss significant time.
“That’s just so premature right now,” Richt said, “but I’m sure we’ll be thinking about that real hard.”
Prior to the injury, Richt had said he felt confident in the depth of his offensive line. After Saturday’s practices, he said right guard was the only position without a clear favorite on the depth chart.
“Tripp’s been at right tackle the whole time,” Richt said Saturday. “Trinton’s been at left tackle the whole time. Vince has pretty much been at left guard the whole time. Chris (Davis) has just about been there every starting snap at center. It’s just the right guard we’re trying to find the answer.”
The chore will be made more difficult if Sturdivant is to miss the season, but Richt was more concerned with his player’s health Monday than worrying about the depth chart.
“It makes you sick,” Richt said. “It’s just sad to see a guy get hurt.”