Georgia kicks off spring practice on Saturday without one of its key weapons on offense.
Sophomore running back Keith Marshall, Georgia's second-leading rusher from 2012, will miss most of spring practice recovering from a hamstring injury, according to offensive coordinator Mike Bobo (via ESPN.com's David Ching).
Bobo: Keith Marshall out until most likely the end of spring break with a hamstring injury suffered running track.— David Ching (@ESPNChing) February 27, 2013
Certainly not the news that Bulldogs fans wanted to hear before the team hits the practice field, but also not something that should be overly concerning.
Hamstring injuries happen, and it's certainly a risk that the coaching staff considered when Marshall made the jump to the track team.
It's also an injury that shouldn't be rushed. Hamstring issues can linger, and the last thing that Georgia fans want is a second-string running back that isn't 100 percent.
Besides, Marshall is hardly your ordinary backup running back.
He rushed for 759 yards and eight touchdowns as a true freshman a year ago, serving as the changeup back to fellow true freshman Todd Gurley.
While Gurley stole the headlines, Marshall was a higher-rated recruit coming out of high school by 247Sports.com. He proved to be just as much of a home-run threat as Gurley last season, having the same amount of rushing plays of 40 or more yards despite 105 fewer carries.
Georgia needs that kind of threat again in 2013, so keeping him fresh and making sure he's 100 percent when toe meets leather on Aug. 31 at Clemson should be head coach Mark Richt's top priority.
Besides, Marshall missed time last spring with a hamstring injury as well, and that didn't seem to be an issue last fall.
Georgia knows what it's getting with Marshall, and letting the backups get some reps is never a bad thing.