ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia running back Nick Chubb still won’t reveal if he will play in next week’s season opener against North Carolina in Atlanta.
When asked Thursday if he will play in the game, Chubb didn’t commit either way.
“I can’t say anything,” Chubb said. “To me, I’m just getting myself ready and my teammates ready day by day. Every day go out there and work hard. Prepare as if you’re going to play and things will fall into place.”
But even though Chubb won’t give a straight answer, several signs show that it’s likely he will his season debut in the game. During fall camp, Chubb has been leading the running backs through drills and even recently received full contact during the team’s instrasquad scrimmage.
Additionally, Chubb said he has not been wearing a brace on his left knee since Wednesday’s practice this week. He added that he progressively went down in size on “four or five” different braces as he’s rehabbed the injury.
Last October at Tennessee, Chubb tore his PCL, LCL and MCL in the knee, which caused him to miss the remainder of the season.
Still, through Georgia’s two scrimmages this fall, Chubb said that he was limited on his carries. That said, he was still on the field on a full-time in pass-protection situations.
If he does play against the Tar Heels, will he be able to handle a heavy workload of carries in next Saturday’s game? Chubb says time will tell.
“I don’t know,” Chubb said. “I won’t be able to know until it happens. But I feel good. I feel good about where I’m at and where my team is at. So maybe.”
Chubb was soon asked what his ideal scenario was for the season opener. His answer came as little surprise.
“I like playing football and wouldn’t mind getting out there,” Chubb said with a smile.
Chubb also said that he has had the chance to talk with former Georgia running back Robert Edwards and former Miami running back Willis McGahee, both of whom also suffered catastrophic knee injuries during their playing careers.
Both, he said, had similar advice for him.
“They said you’re knee depends on how hard you’re willing to work,” Chubb said. “You’re telling the right guy that.”
Chubb says that he reached out to McGahee on Instagram. McGahee went on to have an 11-year NFL career, in which he made two Pro Bowls after hurting his knee in the Hurricanes’ national championship game loss to Ohio State at the end of the 2002 season.
Edwards hurt his knee in an NFL rookie flag football game on a Hawaii beach in 1999. He was not able to play another game until 2002.
Georgia, who has not missed a single practice this fall camp, is expected to practice on Friday and Saturday this week. The Bulldogs will have Sunday off and resume practice Monday.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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