ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia has lost one of its most explosive offensive players for the season.
Wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell is done for the year after tearing the ACL in his right knee, coach Mark Richt confirmed on Sunday evening.
“What we thought happened did happen,” Richt said. “It was confirmed with an MRI today.”
Mitchell’s injury came amid jubilation after a 75-yard touchdown run in the first quarter from Todd Gurley in the Bulldogs’ 38-35 loss to Clemson on Saturday night.
Mitchell, Gurley and receiver Chris Conley all jumped up together to celebrate in the back of the end zone. Mitchell landed awkwardly.
“I think they jumped up and chest bumped or whatever and he ended up he landing in a bad way,” Richt said. “That’s when he knew something had happened.”
Mitchell is a deep threat who had 85 catches for 1,237 yards and eight touchdowns in two seasons for Georgia despite playing cornerback at the start of last season.
He was selected third-team preseason All-SEC by the coaches.
“We’ve got other guys who have gone deep and can make plays for us, but Malcolm was certainly one guy who can do that,” Richt said. “He had great, great speed, great quickness and he would snatch the ball in traffic. He was a great competitor.”
Mitchell left the game before having a reception.
It’s the second consecutive season Georgia lost a top receiver before the South Carolina game. Michael Bennett tore his ACL in a practice before the early October game last season.
Mitchell will undergo surgery sometime “in the near future,” Richt said.
The junior would still have two years of eligibility remaining if he gets a medical redshirt, which Richt expects would be granted.
“I think that appeal would be a slam dunk,” he said.
One player that Georgia will count on in Mitchell’s absence is redshirt sophomore Justin Scott-Wesley, who had four catches for 55 yards on Saturday.