Georgia edge rusher Nolan Smith exited today’s game against Florida with a shoulder injury and will not return.
The injury occurred early in the second quarter when Smith tackled Gators’ RB Montrell Johnson Jr. Smith hit Johnson using his right shoulder, and it;s believed that the impact from the tackle caused the injury.
Smith is considered a top defensive prospect heading into the 2023 draft with the potential to be taken in the first round. Though the general consensus is that he will be taken on Day 2 or 3, he has plenty of upside that could be worth a Day 1 selection if his production this season picks up.
Depending on the severity of the injury, this could eliminate him from first round contention, especially if he has to miss time. In seven games this season, he’s recorded 16 tackles, three sacks and a pass defended – numbers that already don’t jump off the page.
Based on the mechanism of the injury, this could be a simple dislocation, meaning he could be back next week. It may also be a separation, which is when the ligaments attaching and stabilizing the collarbone (clavicle) are partially or fully torn from the shoulder blade (scapula). Separations are considered more severe and could cause Smith to miss time.