The return of Georgia running back Todd Gurley was brief. After sitting out four games due to a suspension, Gurley will miss the remainder of the 2014 season with a torn ACL in his left leg.
Gurley was having a terrific game as one-half of Georgia’s monster running attack against Auburn, but he was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter with an apparent knee injury after going down without contact on a rushing attempt. He was taken to the sideline for medical treatment and had ice wrapped around his knee before being taken off the field for further examination. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier on Sunday the Gurley injury was expected to be severe.
Without Gurley, Georgia will continue to pound out yardage with Nick Chub. Chubb has emerged as a dominant force in Gurley’s absence, and he looks more than capable of carrying the offense down the stretch. Georgia is done with SEC play but can still play for an SEC championship if Missouri loses either one of its final two regular season games. Losing Gurley hurts Georgia’s prospects of winning the SEC, but if the Bulldogs continue to play as well as they have proven to be capable of doing with Gurley, they cannot be ruled out under any scenario.
This season was quite a roller coaster for Gurley. The talented running back went form a leading Heisman Trophy candidate to suspended four games for accepted compensation for his autograph to a grand return against Auburn and now has his season ended due to injury. A junior, Gurley would have been a highly rated NFL Draft prospect in the Class of 2015. Now it may be wise to come back for one more year at Georgia if there are any concerns about his ability to come back. Or perhaps a decision to go now and take a chance might be worth it. Odds are he would still be considered a decent draft prospect, but running backs are already starting to decline in draft preference in the NFL and lifespans for running backs is already short.
UPDATED 5:30 p.m. ET: Georgia confirmed that Gurley did indeed sustain a season-ending ACL injury. Below is text of the program’s press release.
An MRI performed Sunday on University of Georgia junior tailback Todd Gurley confirmed a torn ACL.
The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Saturday¹s victory over Auburn. A surgery date has not yet been determined according to UGA Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson.