ATHENS - Georgia's worst fears about Marlon Brown's knee injury have been confirmed: The senior receiver will require ACL surgery and his season, and thus college career, are over.
Head coach Mark Richt revealed the news on his Sunday teleconference. The injury was confirmed by an MRI on Saturday night, according to UGA head athletic trainer Ron Courson. But Courson, in a statement through the team, was confident Brown would make a "full recovery ... that will enable him to continue his career in the future."
"That's just an injury that people recover from well. We know he'll be able to continue on to his pro career," Richt said. "I think he was well on his way to having that happen for him. We're very sad and sorry that it happened for Marlon, and for Georgia too. He'll recover. He'll do fine. It's just a hard thing to swallow right now."
Brown, who started every game this season, hurt his knee during the third quarter of Saturday's 37-10 win over Ole Miss; Brown led Georgia with three catches for 113 yards in the game, including a 66-yard touchdown pass that got Georgia going in the first half. For the season, Brown ranks second on the team in catches (27), receiving yards (469) and touchdowns (four).
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This is the second season-ending knee injury for a key Georgia receiver: Sophomore Michael Bennett tore his ACL the first week of October, and was leading the team in receiving at that point.
Georgia still has leading receiver Tavarres King, a senior, and sophomore Malcolm Mitchell, who was one of the team's top receivers this year. Players who could see increased roles now include sophomore Chris Conley and redshirt freshman Justin Scott-Wesley. (Blake Tibbs, a freshman, will continue to redshirt.)
Richt also pointed to junior Rantavious Wooten, who has 12 catches and two touchdowns this year.
"Wooten has made plays for us. I'm sure he'll get more work because of it," Richt said. "Guys will just get more opportunities that were getting few opportunities, but were still playing."
"God never puts you thru something he doesn't think you can handle," Brown posted on his Twitter account on Sunday evening. "I'm still very blessed and love you guys. Thanks for the prayers."
Brown was injured after making a catch in the third quarter. The helmet of Ole Miss' Trae Elston appeared to hit Brown with his helmet as Brown was being tackled. Richt said after the game he didn't think the tackle by the Ole Miss defender was anything dirty, and chose not to add to his comment on Sunday.
"I didn't really study that (today)," Richt said.
In other injury news, starting right guard Chris Burnette, who injured his shoulder during Saturday's game, is regarded as day-to-day.