Less than 48 hours before the season's first game, Georgia's team suffered a surprising setback on the injury front.
Georgia cornerback/wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell will miss Saturday's game against Buffalo after sustaining a left ankle sprain during Thursday's walk-through practice, UGA has confirmed.
Per UGA, there are "no projections at this point" on Mitchell's availability for next weekend's game at Missouri.
The Bulldogs' second-leading receiver last season, Mitchell was expected to start at cornerback Saturday after switching to defense in the spring (though he missed the G-Day Game with a hamstring injury).
“Malcolm is a guy that is going to be in there. He’s going to play,” defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Tuesday. “I think Malcolm, Damian (Swann) and Branden Smith, all three have done really good. They have really worked hard, so they’re all going to play. And I think Malcolm is a guy that can be a dynamic corner.”
Without Mitchell, Damian Swann will jump into the first two with Branden Smith, and it could mean more snaps for true freshmen Sheldon Dawson, a cornerback, and Josh Harvey-Clemons, a safety who has been practicing in a slot role similar to what Mitchell had been playing.
First-string cornerback Sanders Commings is serving the first of a two-game suspension Saturday.
Georgia's coaches were also planning to play Mitchell on offense as a wide receiver and "some special teams too," according to Mark Richt, who said Wednesday that Mitchell could return kickoffs or punts as well.
Thursday's walk-through practice was Georgia's final workout of the preseason and was in helmets only with no contact.
The Bulldogs had been relatively injury free through this preseason. Other than a broken foot for Hunter Long, no other scholarship player was believed to be in question for Saturday because of injury other than possibly tight end Jay Rome (hamstring).
Sixth-ranked Georgia faces Buffalo at 12:21 p.m. Saturday at Sanford Stadium. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.