Mitchell probable, Stickler out for Georgia Tech

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04: Ethan Wolf #82 of the Tennessee Volunteers fails to pull in this reception against Brant Mitchell #51 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 4, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Credit: Kevin C. Cox

Credit: Kevin C. Cox

The injury report for Georgia Tech is a mixed bag. Linebacker Brant Mitchell was listed as probable for Saturday’s game at No. 7 Clemson, but offensive tackle Jake Stickler was ruled out. The report was released Thursday following Tech’s final practice of the week.

Mitchell missed Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury suffered in the Yellow Jackets’ loss to Miami on Oct. 14. Stickler left the win over Wake Forest on Saturday with an upper-body injury. Mitchell’s likely return would be a boost for the Tech defense, as he has provided effective play in the Jackets’ run defense. Clemson ranks 25th nationally in rushing at 219.6 rushing yards per game.

Without Stickler, however, the Tech offensive line will be close to operating without a net. After the five starters – tackles Jahaziel Lee and Will Bryan, guards Parker Braun and Shamire Devine and center Kenny Cooper – the backups are without significant experience.

The No. 3 tackle is walk-on Bailey Ivemeyer, who has had limited reps in four games. The No. 3 guard could be Brad Morgan, who is listed as probable (upper-body injury) and has mostly played special teams. If Morgan can’t play, it might be Connor Hansen, a freshman who has appeared in one game.

The lack of proven backups is a particular challenge against Clemson, which has depth on the defensive line and can rotate to keep its players fresh.

It bears mention that Mitchell and Brad Morgan’s “probable” assessment is only that. Last week, for example, both B-back KirVonte Benson and defensive end Antonio Simmons were listed as probable. Benson started and played the whole game while Simmons was available only on an emergency basis.

Also on the injury report, linebacker David Curry (lower-body injury) remains out, as does center Scott Morgan (upper-body injury).