Georgia running back Nick Chubb, a talented sophomore with an NFL future ahead of him, suffered a gruesome injury on the first play of today’s game at Tennessee.
Chubb took the ball and cut to the outside, where he was hit and knocked toward the sideline. As he landed on his feet out of bounds, his knee buckled underneath him and bent backward.
Medical staff immediately tended to Chubb on the sideline, and coaches and teammates attempted to comfort him as he wiped away tears. There was no immediate word on the nature of his injury, but given the way his knee bent and the way he reacted, it appears very, very serious.
The injury is sure to re-ignite the debate about the NFL’s rule forcing players to wait until three years after high school before they can enter the draft. That debate has focused mostly on Chubb’s fellow sophomore running back Leonard Fournette, but Chubb is also good enough to be playing in the NFL now.
Chubb was so good as a true freshman last year that when he took over for Georgia running back Todd Gurley (who missed some games with a suspension and then more with a serious knee injury of his own), Georgia’s offense didn’t miss a beat. Gurley was the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft, and although Chubb likely wouldn’t have gone that high, he surely would have been drafted if he had been in this year’s draft.
But the NFL wouldn’t allow Chubb to enter this year’s draft. His only choices were to play for free, or not to play at all. And now he’s suffered a gruesome injury before reaching his first NFL payday.