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Georgia's Darnell Washington Uncertain for CFP Title Game vs. TCU with Ankle Injury

Adam WellsJanuary 2, 2023

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 3: Darnell Washington #0 of the Georgia Bulldogs stretches before a game between LSU Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 3, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Steve Limentani/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Georgia tight end Darnell Washington's status for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game is uncertain because of an ankle injury.

Head coach Kirby Smart told reporters on Monday that Washington is questionable to play against TCU due to a strained ankle and soft-tissue bruise he suffered in the second quarter of the Peach Bowl.

ESPN's Alex Scarborough noted Washington was on crutches and wearing a walking boot on the sidelines for the second half of Saturday's 42-41 win over Ohio State. He had one catch for nine yards against the Buckeyes before leaving the game.

Smart told ESPN's Marty Smith the junior tight end's injury is not a high ankle sprain and won't require surgery, giving him a better chance to play against TCU.

Washington is a huge part of the Bulldogs' offense, both literally and in execution. He is a matchup nightmare at 6'7" and 270 pounds. The Las Vegas native ranks first on the team with 15.8 yards per reception among players with at least 10 catches.

Per ESPN's Mark Schlabach, Georgia used two tight-end sets on 59 percent of its offensive snaps against Ohio State.

If Washington is unable to play, the Bulldogs still have Brock Bowers as their primary tight end.

Bowers was named to the All-American first team and won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end this season. He leads Georgia in receptions (56), receiving yards (790) and receiving touchdowns (six).

The Bulldogs were pushed to the brink in the Peach Bowl. They scored 18 points in the fourth quarter to erase a 38-23 deficit. Ohio State had an opportunity to win at the end of regulation, but Noah Ruggles missed a 50-yard field goal as time expired.

Georgia will play TCU on Jan. 9 with a chance to become the first team to win back-to-back national titles since Alabama in 2011 and 2012. The Horned Frogs beat Michigan, 51-45, in the Fiesta Bowl to earn their first appearance in the CFP Championship Game.