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Mark Richt optimistic Nick Chubb won't need knee surgery

Nick Chubb TOS 151010

Georgia star running back Nick Chubb suffered a gruesome-looking injury Saturday on the Bulldogs' first play from scrimmage against rival Tennessee.

Chubb, a sophomore and one of college football's top rushers, took his first carry for a sweep to the right side. He was spun around by a defender at the sideline, and his left knee buckled awkwardly. Georgia coach Mark Richt could not confirm the severity of the injury after the game, but said he was optimistic that no surgery would be required, according to Mark Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald. After replaying the play at least once during the CBS broadcast, play-by-play broadcaster Verne Lundquist said "We have chosen not show the replay again," and later noted that Chubb would not return to the game.

Georgia teammates consoled Chubb on the sideline and he was helped off the field during the first quarter with his knee wrapped heavily in ice, and even his exit from the field was troubling to watch:

Entering Saturday, Chubb had rushed for 100-plus yards for 13 consecutive games (a Georgia record). A true sophomore, Chubb has played too much this season to qualify for a redshirt based on medical hardship. He is not eligible for entry into the 2016 NFL Draft.

Former Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who suffered a torn ACL last November but recovered well enough to be drafted No. 10 overall, and quickly enough to play this season for the St. Louis Rams, extended best wishes for his former teammate via Twitter. Chubb received similar wishes from former NFL QB Tim Tebow, Georgia legend Herschel Walker and former South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a devastating knee injury during his college career that eventually forced him to retire.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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