Nick Chubb’s Mother Says he Needs Surgery, what will Georgia do?

Oct 3, 2015; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb (27) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Sanford Stadium. Alabama defeated Georgia 38-10. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
After a devastating knee injury to star running back Nick Chubb, the Georgia Bulldogs prepare for the rest of the season without their Heisman hopeful.

After a devastating knee injury to star running back Nick Chubb, the Georgia Bulldogs prepare for the rest of the season without their Heisman hopeful.

Oct 3, 2015; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb (27) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Sanford Stadium. Alabama defeated Georgia 38-10. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2015; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Nick Chubb (27) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Sanford Stadium. Alabama defeated Georgia 38-10. (Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports)

La’Velle Chubb, Nick Chubb’s mother, posted on Facebook this morning that Nick Chubb will need surgery after sustaining an injury in a 38-31 loss to Tennessee (3-3, 1-2) yesterday. According to her post, Chubb suffered a torn PCL along with two other ligaments.

“Nick has a PCL tear along with two other ligaments,” La’Velle Chubb wrote. “They’ll wait for swelling to go down to decide when to have surgery. Possibly two weeks.”

UGA later confirmed that Chubb does need surgery. The injury damaged multiple ligaments and cartilage, but there was no damage to his ACL according to UGA Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Ron Courson.

Coach Mark Richt said it’s “pretty safe to say” that Chubb will miss the remainder of the season.

Chubb was injured on the first play from scrimmage after landing awkwardly on the sideline. Georgia (4-2, 2-2) played the rest of the game without him and ended up falling to the Volunteers. The loss marked the second straight for the Bulldogs and sent them tumbling out of the rankings.

Yesterday’s loss, along with La’Velle Chubb’s Facebook post, raises an important question: Can Georgia’s offense survive without Nick Chubb?

The Bulldogs average 231.5 rushing yards per game, which ranks 15th in the nation, and Chubb is responsible for 747 of their 1,389 rushing yards this season. Georgia ran for a season-low 165 yards with Chubb on the sideline yesterday.

Oct 10, 2015; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Sony Michel (1) catches a pass against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 38-31. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2015; Knoxville, TN, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Sony Michel (1) catches a pass against the Tennessee Volunteers during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Tennessee won 38-31. (Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

Most of the workload fell on the shoulders of Sony Michel. He carried the ball a career-high 22 times for 145 yards. Michel put his speed and power on display on a 66-yard run in the first half of yesterday’s loss. Michel is arguably the most versatile player on offense for the Bulldogs. He has 421 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 63 carries this season. Also, he has 12 receptions for 174 yards and three touchdowns.

Michel appears capable of taking over at running back. However, Georgia has used a two-back system all year, so who else could see a larger role in the offense?

Keith Marshall got some looks yesterday. He carried the ball five times for 24 yards. Marshall has played sparingly over the last two seasons after suffering a knee injury against Tennessee in 2013. Marshall showed flashes of brilliance during his freshman campaign with the Bulldogs, in which he rushed for 759 yards and eight touchdowns. It is unclear whether he can get back to that level of play due to his lack of playing time.

If he can produce those kinds of numbers again, the Bulldogs will still have a formidable duo at running back. This will take much of the pressure off quarterback Greyson Lambert, who has struggled over the last two weeks.

If Marshall continues to see limited carries, then Georgia will need significant improvements in the passing game. Over the last two games, Lambert is 25-of-56 for 365 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. These numbers will not get it done for Georgia, especially without Chubb.

Lambert struggled the first two games of the season, but then played brilliantly against both South Carolina and Southern. He set the FBS record for completion percentage against the Gamecocks after completing 24-of-25 passes.

Georgia must find a way for Lambert to find success passing the ball again. This will be tough as their next opponent, Missouri, ranks 14th in the nation in pass yards allowed per game.

The Bulldogs still have an outside shot at making the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. If the Bulldogs want to win the SEC East, they must address the issues that Chubb’s injury presents.

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