Athens — Georgia got hit with its first major injury of the preseason on Saturday when sophomore strong safety Quintin Banks went down with a knee injury.
Banks, who was the No. 2 strong safety and third man in the four-man safety rotation, suffered a torn medial collateral ligament during an inside drill in Saturday morning’s full-contact practice, the first of the preseason. By the afternoon — it was the first two-practice day this year — Banks was on crutches with a big black brace covering his left knee.
“He will probably have surgery on Tuesday to repair the MCL,” coach Mark Richt said. “It’ll be about a six-week recovery.”
Georgia also lost safety Makiri Pugh for at least a week. The true freshman from Charlotte had his left ankle heavily wrapped as he followed Banks to the training room from the field early in the afternoon practice.
Safety was one position the Bulldogs could least afford injuries. Earlier this week defensive coordinator Willie Martinez was talking about the importance of having at least four solid safeties and that he had only three, including Banks.
“We’re looking for the fourth,” Martinez said. “We’d like to have five safeties in the rotation and ready for that first ballgame. John Knox is the fourth guy right now. After that it’s really kind of wide open.”
Georgia would be in better shape if it still had junior Donavon Baldwin. But Baldwin is currently suspended indefinitely after an offseason DUI conviction and a bar fight two weeks ago. Baldwin received 25 stitches in his head and neck after getting hit with a beer bottle.
The Bulldogs can also turn to Andrew Williams, a former walk-on and sixth-year senior who was awarded a scholarship earlier this week. And Richt said true freshmen Bacarri Rambo and Nick Williams will “have to get ready to play.”
– Courtesy of AJC.com