Georgia receiver tears ACL celebrating a TD, draft status uncertain


Georgia receiver Malcolm Mitchell, a talented junior who was considered a good prospect for the 2014 NFL draft, blew out his knee in the team’s opener while celebrating a teammate’s touchdown.

Coach Mark Richt confirmed that Mitchell has a torn ACL and that it happened when Mitchell jumped up in the end zone to celebrate teammate Todd Gurley’s touchdown run.

“He actually hurt it in the exuberance of the first touchdown of the game for us, when he went to congratulate his teammate,” Richt said. “They went up and chest-bumped, or whatever, and he landed in a bad way.”

Barring the injury and with a good year, Mitchell probably would have given up his final season of NCAA eligibility and declared for the 2014 NFL draft. But Richt told the Albany Herald that he expects Mitchell to apply for a medical redshirt. That would give Mitchell the option of having two more years of college eligibility, playing for Georgia in both 2014 and 2015 and then entering the 2016 NFL draft.

But a better option for Mitchell may be to start focusing on the 2014 NFL draft right now. He has already put plenty on tape that NFL scouts like: He’s a good receiver, he has returned punts and kickoffs and he has even played some cornerback. NFL teams know that Mitchell is a good football player, and he still has eight months to rehab his knee and get into good enough shape to work out for teams before the draft, which begins on May 8 next year.

That unfortunate touchdown celebration may have been Mitchell’s last moment in college football. The next time he steps on a football field, he may be getting paid for it.

16 responses to “Georgia receiver tears ACL celebrating a TD, draft status uncertain

  1. Wow…this is as poorly timed an injury as when Kendrys Morales broke his leg celebrating a walk-off home run early in a baseball season a couple years ago. Took him a loooooooong time to recover from it too.

    At least Morales was already pro, though. Really stinks for Mitchell to have hurt himself before he even went pro.

  2. Kinda reminds me of gus frerotte headbuttong a wall and Bill Gramatica tearing his ACL celebrating a stupid first quarter field goal. Anyone who gets hurt celebrating a score deserves the title “Bonehead.”

  3. Who’d have thought that Goodell cracking down on celebrations in the end zone was actually about player safety?

  4. I know a kid getting hurt celebrating is a good headline. But it’s not as if he did something that hundreds of other players in all levels of football don’t do evey year. It is a case of bad luck.

    Sort of like when Kedrys Morales of the Angels hurt himself celebrating at home plate after a walk off home run. It was a fluke.

    Hopefully Mitchell can recover from it.

  5. I remember listening to Bob Trumpy tell a story about scoring his first TD for the Bengals. He said he jumped around and acted like he had just won the The Price Is Right showcase. When he came to the sidelines, legendary coach Paul Brown told him “Son, act like you’ve been there before.”

    For those of you who don’t know, Bob Trumpy was an All-Pro Tight End for a number of years for the Bengals and if you don’t know who Paul Brown is then I’m not sure why you’re even on this forum.

    I guess I’m too old but when I was playing football and I scored, I was more like Mark Bavarro. I didn’t dance around and act like an idiot. To me, I think it’s more impressive to act like it’s not a big deal that you scored instead of doing a bunch of idiotic antics. Not to mention that stuff like this can get yourself hurt. However, kids nowadays will never learn. I guess maybe I’m just too old (50) and don’t understand but at least I never hurt myself celebrating!

  6. The former Buffalo Bill Lee Evans had It right all along…
    After scoring, he calmly walked the ball over to the official and headed off the field to prepare for the next drive. That is a Professional.

  7. Im not in favor of idiotic TD celebrations at all…..but if you saw the video, you know that this kid barely did anything. It was a totally freak injury.

  8. I watched the play again on an ESPN replay. I could not pinpoint when the injury occurred. The celebration wasn’t a crazy one, like the Ted Ginn injury in the Fiesta Bowl. From what I can tell, Mitchell trailed the play, was running to the endzone to congratulate Gurley, and when Mitchell planted his foot when he got to Gurley, his leg turns slightly and Mitchell looks down. Not like the kid was over the top with his celebration. Weird. But, in my opinion, he doesn’t deserve the criticism since some are assuming the celebration was too much.

  9. It wasn’t over the top at all. Just a normal congratulations of a teammate. In soccer they dogpile teammates, and I’m always amazed they don’t get hurt more often. It’s not as if he went Grammatica doing a stupid celebration.

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