Georgia wide receiver Dominick Blaylock suffered a knee injury during a practice Wednesday afternoon and is out for the season.
The injury was to the same left knee Blaylock injured in the first quarter of the SEC Championship game against LSU last season.
“He tore the graft where they put the patella tendon,” said John Woods, Blaylock’s father. “Ron (Courson, UGA’s sports-medicine director) said there’s only a 5 percent chance this happens. It’s usually the other ACL, like Zamir White did. But he said it’s not career-ending. There’s no other cartilage or ligament damage. So he’s got to take a redshirt year and be back next year.”
Woods said the injury occurred on Blaylock’s first day of being fully cleared to practice. It came only 24 hours after the 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore passed a battery of physical tests conducted by Courson.
“He’d passed everything,” Woods said. “He was running routes yesterday. He was wearing a new knee brace they’d given him, and he was having a really good practice, from what (receivers) coach (Cortez) Hankton told me. They were blown away with his progress. But he caught a ball and came down on it and it just popped.”
Blaylock’s loss is a tough blow for a wide receiver corps that’s long on talent but short on experience. When healthy, Blaylock was one of the Bulldogs’ top three receivers, along with sophomore George Pickens and senior Demetris Robertson.
Primarily, Blaylock lined up in the slot for the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound speedster started three games there last season, playing in 12 overall and finishing with 310 yards and five touchdowns on 18 receptions. He also was the Bulldogs’ primary punt returner, with 14 for 128 yards.
Sophomore Kearis Jackson and Robertson also have experience in the slot. They, too, return kicks. The Bulldogs have 13 wideouts on scholarship.
Woods reported this summer that his son was “ahead of schedule” in his rehabilitation from his previous injury and was on track to play early this season. Coach Kirby Smart said at the outset of camp that Blaylock was able to do some “straight-line running” but otherwise was not yet fully recovered.
He finally was cleared Tuesday, then lost again Wednesday.
“Dom’s a resilient kid; he’s going to be OK,” Woods said. “He’s kind of quiet, doesn’t show a lot of emotion, but it’s crazy how hard he had worked to get back. A week ago they were blown away how far he’d come. It’s just tough.”
Georgia opens the season against Arkansas on Sept. 26.