Georgia DT Jalen Carter out two to four weeks

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

ATHENS -- The disappointing season of Jalen Carter continues.

A preseason All-American and projected early NFL draft pick, Georgia’s star defensive tackle has yet to have a starring effort for the Bulldogs. His season has been negatively impacted by injuries, and that will continue into Week 6.

After being the victim of an illegal chop block by Missouri this past Saturday, he’s expected to be sidelined at least two weeks and possibly more with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. At the very least, he’ll miss this Saturday’s game against Auburn (3:30 p.m., CBS)

“It will be a week or two,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said during Monday’s press conference. “It’s an MCL like expected. Don’t know how long it’s going to be but it doesn’t look good for this week.”

Depending on severity, MCL sprains generally call for two to four weeks of rest and rehabilitation. Carter had been limited to a handful of plays in the last three games due to an ankle injury. He did not start for the third straight week.

Carter’s latest injury setback is the result of what could be perceived as a dirty play by Missouri. At the very least, it was a missed chop-block call against Missouri left tackle Trent Sederwell. He dove headfirst into Carter’s left knee while left guard Mitchell Walters hooked Carter’s right arm. Carter left the game at the 10:51 mark of the second quarter and did not return.

Intent is, of course, hard to prove. But Carter and some other Georgia defensive linemen drew the ire of Missouri players after taunting them in pregame warmups in the Tigers’ end zone. Regardless, the SEC office reviews all missed calls by officials and the block on Carter was text book illegal. An in-house reprimand is likely.

“I talked to an official during the play and he felt comfortable about it what the play was,” Smart said. “We talked about it before the game because they have a lot of backside cuts. Auburn uses the same method. I’m hopeful to keep our players safe and we do what’s in the limits of the game and the rules. But that’s not for me to decide, to be honest with you.”

Game time: Georgia’s home game against Vanderbilt on Oct. 15 will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised by the SEC Network