Injuries... Chicken or the Egg?

ATHENS – On Thursday the middle of Georgia's defense was out with injuries.

You have to wonder why.

Starting linebackers Christian Robinson (concussion) and Alec Ogletree (strained groin) sat out. One of their backups, Mike Gilliard (knee), was also out. A possible starting duo at safety Jakar Hamilton (concussion) and Bacarri Rambo (sprained MCL) were also out as was another backup – Marc Deas (hamstring). Also, Washaun Ealey's (hamstring) difficult offseason continues, but this time with injuries.

Just why are all of these players getting hurt? I'm not claiming to be any sort of expert on the subject by any means, but here's my take on it:

Sometimes injuries just happen – no doubt.

But hamstring injuries really should never happen. They are almost always a result of not being stretched out enough. Hamstrings usually occur when guys are too tight. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Ealey, who missed much of the offseason workouts, is not performing this spring due to a hamstring injury. He was tight to begin with – why would he suddenly be loose after missing workouts in the winter?

That begs the question: is Georgia's new strength and conditioning program too focused on strength and not enough on stretching?

I have no clue, but that's certainly possible.

If the scuttlebutt around the program is true then this has been one of the most physical offseason workouts in some time. Guys are not used to that, and it is taking their bodies some time to recover and get going.

That is bleeding over into practices. Guys might not be looser necessarily, but they seem to be stronger. If they are stronger on the whole then practices are going to be more physical. Physical practices = injuries – particularly at the start of more physical practices.

But you can't have it both ways. Sure, stretching is an important part of getting guys ready to go, but in the end if you are having physical, rough practices you are going to have injuries because they come along with that.

The one thing Mark Richt and company need to be wary of is wearing the team down. That won't happen in the spring, but it could happen in the fall. Then again, this is sort of a chicken-or-the-egg situation. How do you become physical if you don't have physical practices (or workouts)?

Good question.


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