During his Sunday teleconference Mark Richt described Todd Gurley as "day-to-day" for this weekend's game against Missouri, and pegged the odds of him playing as "50/50." Then this morning Coach Richt downgraded him to "doubtful."
Taken at face value those are scary words for a Georgia Bulldog fanbase that, while pessimistic in even the best of times, has in the past 72 hours come to view Murphy as an optimist and Job as a lucky son-of-a-gun.
But there's a school of thought out roaming the message boards and twitter feeds of America holding that it's only a ruse. That there's no way under these circumstances that Mark Richt keeps his star running back out of action against an undefeated divisional foe.
The problem, if you look at Mark Richt's track record is that it's entirely plausible. You may recall that Isaiah Crowell also suffered a sprained ankle in 2011 before the Tech game. He then dressed out, even went through warm ups with the team. And then sat the whole game. Mark Richt's history is that he won't risk bringing Gurley back too early and setting him back further for the sake of this game.
Add in that usually when Mark Richt says something, you can take it to the bank, and things are looking grim. He tends to say what he means and mean what he says.
As anyone who's ever seriously sprained an ankle while playing football knows, it's an injury that heals when it heals. There are a myriad of levels of severity when it comes to ankle sprains, some of which require a little more tape, some of which will put you in a walking boot and keep you off the field for a month.
I'm not saying that Mark Richt isn't playing a little possum with Gary Pinkel on this one. But I will say that it's more likely that as we sit here today nervously fretting over our laptops and trying to figure out what a Georgia offense without its second and third leading receivers will look like, that Mark Richt isn't certain which tailback he'll be leaning on, but truly suspects that Todd Gurley is doubtful for this weekend.
I'd like to believe that Dark Richt is in the house, that Todd Gurley's ankle is as healthy as mine, and that we won't be relying on a pair of freshman tailbacks and a pair of walk ons in the back field against Gary Pinkel's Tigers. But my suspicion is that is precisely what will happen. And that we better figure out a way to overcome it. Sure, Gurley's ankle might progress later this week to the point that he's ready to go.
When Todd Gurley is 100% I'll feel a lot better about the Bulldog offense. But I suspect I won't get that comfy feeling this weekend. Buckle up, Dawgs. It's gettin' pessimistic around here. Until later . . .