ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Branson Robinson, who showed his potential to emerge as a lead running back in 2023 for No. 1 Georgia by rushing for two touchdowns in the Bulldogs' 2022 national championship game win over TCU, will miss this season after suffering a ruptured patellar tendon.
Coach Kirby Smart announced Wednesday that Robinson, a sophomore, suffered the injury on Tuesday.
Robinson rushed for 330 yards and three touchdowns while playing in 12 games last season as Georgia won its second straight national championship.
Robinson rushed for a season-high 98 yards against Auburn. He showed potential to assume a bigger role in 2023 when he ran for 42 yards on seven carries with the two scores in the 65-7 rout of TCU.
Smart said Robinson's injury “puts us in a tough situation” at running back as quarterback Carson Beck enters his first season as the starter. Kendall Milton and Daijan Edwards are the most experienced running backs. Roderick Robinson, Cash Jones and Andrew Paul also could be part of the rotation.
Branson Robinson was returning from a turf toe injury he suffered in spring practice before suffering the ruptured patellar tendon in what Smart said was a non-contact injury.
“It’ll be done by committee as it always has been here,” Smart said of the plan at running back. "I hate it for Branson because he had really worked hard. By the end of the spring, when he had the turf toe, he was battling back all offseason, he’s had a great summer and looked really good in the days leading up to this injury.”
There could be more pressure on the running backs as Beck succeeds Stetson Bennett following the first back-to-back national titles in school history.
The offense also is adjusting to a new coordinator, Mike Bobo, after Todd Monken was hired by the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.
Smart said losing Robinson won't change the Bulldogs' offensive plans.
“His injury isn’t going to affect our run-to-pass ratio,” Smart said. "We have capable backs. He was one of our better backs. ... We’ve got capable backs there and we’ve got people around them to get the ball to. I don’t see that changing who we are offensively, it just probably makes another injury more significant, what special teams roles do you want the backs playing, because you’ve got to be aware at what point there’s a drop off.”
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