Georgia Tech announced on August 18th that they were dismissing their returning leading rusher from 2016, Dedrick Mills. Now, their back with the second-most returning rushing yards may not play against the Vols either.
Clinton Lynch, a junior running back for the Yellow Jackets, was a dynamic play-maker for Georgia Tech last season. But according to a report from Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Lynch may not play against the Vols when the two teams meet to open up their 2017 seasons.
According to Sugiura, Lynch did not practice with the Yellow Jackets on Monday. And according to head coach Paul Johnson, that leaves Lynch’s status in doubt for the season opener.
Johnson had previously said if Lynch didn’t return to practice by the end of last week, he probably wouldn’t play. But he seemed less sure after practice on Monday when he spoke to the Georgia Tech media.
“We’ll see,” Johnson said, according to Sugiura. “Well, he can’t play until he gets back out there. I’ll make a decision when he gets back. We can’t decide when he’s not practicing.”
Lynch led the Yellow Jackets in receiving yards last season with 490 yards and six touchdowns on just 16 catches. That gave him an average of 30.6 yards per catch. He was also Georgia Tech’s leading returning rusher from their 2016 roster with 415 yards on just 37 carries. All in all, Lynch totaled 905 yards and eight scores on just 53 touches last season.
If Lynch can’t play against Tennessee, Georgia Tech would likely turn to junior Qua Searcy at their A-back position. Last season, Searcy totaled 273 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 46 carries. He also caught 10 passes for 183 yards. Behind him are senior J.J. Green and redshirt sophomore Nathan Cottrell, a former running back for West High School in Knoxville.