When it was reported that Georgia’s star tight end Brock Bowers would be undergoing surgery on October 16, many expected Bowers to miss around 4-6 weeks according to ESPN reporter Pete Thamel.
At the time, the Tennessee game was five weeks away, right in the middle of the projected time to recover.
The elite tight end made his return after only three weeks off this past Saturday in the Bulldogs’ home game against Ole Miss.
Bowers returned to the Georgia offense this past Saturday to play his final game in Sanford Stadium in a 52-17 blowout win over then-No. 10 Ole Miss. Bowers recorded three receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown in his first game back for the Bulldogs.
“I didn’t have an expectation for Brock. I thought Brock would do what he could. Brock was hellbent to get back out there,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said after the Ole Miss game via Dawgs247.
It’s hard to overstate the impact that Bowers makes on the field despite an incredibly impressive offensive group that Georgia already boasts.
I pity the defender who has to cover Brock Bowers one on one.
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) November 12, 2023
Smart relayed an update on Bowers’ status after playing in the Ole Miss game and mentioned that his tight end is in “good shape” moving forward after playing 45 snaps on Saturday.
“(Brock Bowers) didn’t play every snap of every game anyway,” Smart said during his opening press conference this week on Monday via DawgPost. “So, I don’t know, I mean, you’d have to look and see his snaps in the other games. I don’t know. I’m sure he had more snaps in other games. But he’s in good shape. He’s conditioned. I don’t know that he’s 100 percent, but he’s healthy and safe enough to play. And we’re going to allow him to play as long as he wants to. And he wanted to go out there and compete and play, and I don’t think it’s a matter of how many snaps he can take. I think he’ll be fine.”
According to Smart, some people in Bowers’ camp were encouraging him to forego the rest of his junior season and go ahead and start training for NFL prep as a likely future first-round draft pick in the next NFL Draft. Bowers, though, wasn’t having that conversation.
“Well, people called him and told him that,” Smart said after the Ole Miss game about people telling Bowers to not return via Dawgs247. “Those people will not be representing him, I can promise you that. All it did was piss him off. He said, I had people calling and telling me I shouldn’t play, Coach. He said, ‘That just drives me crazy. It makes me want to play more to prove them wrong.’ He said, ‘Why am I in this game if I’m not going to come back and play?’”
Despite missing two games on the schedule (the week after he was injured was Georgia’s bye week), Bowers still leads Georgia’s offense in receptions (44), receiving yards (601), and receiving touchdowns (5).
Tennessee will host AP No. 1 Georgia this Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET in an SEC East clash in Neyland Stadium.