KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Georgia running back Nick Chubb injured his left knee on the first play from scrimmage Saturday in the 19th-ranked Bulldogs’ 38-31 loss to Tennessee.
Chubb was running toward the sideline when he was hit by cornerback Emmanuel Moseley and later by linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin. He was helped off the field and remained on the sideline surrounded by a crowd of players and team officials as the Bulldogs began their second offensive series. He later was carted away but was seated on the sideline for part of the second half.
Georgia coach Mark Richt was unsure after the game about the severity of Chubb’s injury.
“As of right now we’re still pretty hopeful that it won’t require surgery, but we’re not 100 percent sure of that,” Richt said.
Georgia’s has a history of bad luck with running backs and knee injuries.
In Georgia’s overtime victory at Tennessee two years ago, both running back Keith Marshall and wide receiver Justin Scott-Wesley tore ACLs in their right knees to knock them out for the remainder of the season. Todd Gurley‘s standout career at Georgia ended last season when he tore his ACL against Auburn.
Chubb had rushed for at least 100 yards in 13 straight games and was leading all active Football Bowl Subdivision players with a career average of 127.3 yards rushing per game. He entered Saturday ranked third nationally with 801 yards rushing on 91 carries.
LSU’s Leonard Fournette, who like Chubb began the season as a Heisman Trophy hopeful, heard about the injury shortly after rushing for 158 yards, including an 87-yard touchdown, in the seventh-ranked Tigers’ 45-24 victory over South Carolina.
“My heart was shattered. You never want to see an athlete like that go down,” Fournette said. “And knowing that we go through so much during (the) football offseason and just to get an injury, man, my prayers go out to him and his family – especially to him. That’s a tough pill to swallow.”