football Edit

Tight end room even thinner

You’ve probably already heard head coach Kirby Smart lament his lack of depth at wide receiver and the secondary.

Unfortunately, the tight end room is not in any better shape.

Injuries continue to take its toll on the position, leaving the Bulldogs with just three scholarship players – Arik Gilbert, Brett Seither, and early enrollee Oscar Delp – available to practice with the team.

Brock Bowers is being held out after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Smart announced two weeks ago that Darnell Washington will miss spring practice with a lower leg injury.

Washington was seen last week with his left foot in a boot and resting on a scooter to get around the practice field.

The rising junior is expected to recover in time for next year.

Sunday, UGASports confirmed that backup tight end Ryland Goede is out with a knee injury. Coupled with the fact that John FitzPatrick left for the NFL Draft, Georgia’s tight end room – at least for the spring – is not quite as deep as it ordinarily might be.

“Darnell Washington will be out as well for spring. He's got a lower leg extremity that's going to keep him out,” Smart saidon the first day of spring practice. “All those guys are promising they'll have good returns.”

Absence, however, means opportunity.

For Delp, it’s a chance to receive a crash course on what he’ll be asked to do this sea.

For Gilbert, it’s an opportunity to really get back in shape and contribute in the way Bulldog fans were hoping he would last fall.

Gilbert is currently receiving looks at both tight end and wide receiver, sources tell UGASports.

“Arik has done a great job kind of integrating back to the team. He's been here for a while now. He's done the work we've asked of him. He's doing well academically,” Smart said recently. “Our expectation of Arik is to be the best person he can be first and foremost, and hopefully be the best player he can be. He's had a really good off-season. He continues to work.”

Ryland Goede is now out for the spring with a knee injury.
Ryland Goede is now out for the spring with a knee injury. (Rob Davis/UGA Sports Communications)