'I feel like it was a dirty play:' UGA's Jalen Carter out for Auburn after Missouri injury

Sep 10, 2022; Athens, Georgia, Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) rushes Samford Bulldogs quarterback Michael Hiers (10) as he passes during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2022; Athens, Georgia, Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) rushes Samford Bulldogs quarterback Michael Hiers (10) as he passes during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia football team will reach the midpoint of its regular season Saturday when Auburn comes to Sanford Stadium.

The No. 2 Bulldogs are expected to be without star defensive tackle Jalen Carter who has missed significant playing time in the first five games due to injuries.

The latest came Saturday in Georgia’s 26-22 win at Missouri.

Carter sustained what coach Kirby Smart called a sprained MCL.

It came on a second quarter play where Missouri offensive tackle Connor Wood made a low block diving straight into Carter’s left knee, hitting the potential top 10 NFL draft pick with his helmet.

More: How UGA and other SEC schools are responding to meet mental health needs of its athletes

Cut blocks are part of the game, but SEC Network sideline analyst Cole Cubelic, a former Auburn offensive lineman, said on air he thought the play should have drawn a penalty because another Missouri offensive lineman was engaged with Carter on the play.

“Mitchell Walters has to get out of there, 75,” Cubelic said referring to Walters’ jersey number. “It's tough because Carter is playing off of him but in my book right there that's a penalty. That's a chop block. He's engaged with another offensive lineman and he takes another one low."

Georgia defensive lineman Zion Logue on Monday was asked Monday if he thought the play was a chop block.

“Personally, I might be biased when I say this, but yes,” Logue said. “We can’t really go back and do anything about it now. It’s the kind of thing that we can’t really control. Just got to keep playing.”

He added: “I feel like it was a dirty play a little bit.”

Georgia coach Kirby Smart said that he talked to the official after the play.

“He felt comfortable about what the play was,” Smart said. “We talked about it before the game that they have a lot of backside cuts. …I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to keep our players safe, do what’s in the limits of the game and the rules, but that’s not for me to decide to be honest with you.”

More: 'They gave us their best shot' Georgia survives Missouri. Can other SEC teams finish job?

Asked later directly if he thought it was a chop block, Smart said: “It doesn’t really matter what I think about the block. So what does it really matter? It matters what the official thinks and what the review thinks.”

The 6-foot, 300-pound Carter has played just 65 defensive snaps this season, according to a count by Pro Football Focus.

The junior from Apopka, Fla., sustained a sprained ankle last month and saw limited snaps against South Carolina and Kent State. He was in for six snaps at Missouri.

Carter has five tackles and seven quarterback pressures this season but no sacks or tackles for loss. He had 37 tackles, 3 sacks and 8 ½ tackles for loss last season in a backup role.

Smart said Monday that Carter “is going to be a week or two….We don’t know how long it’s going to be but it doesn’t look good for this week.”

Georgia will play Vanderbilt at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 15 in an SEC Network game, the league announced on Monday.

Then comes a bye week so Carter would have four weeks between games if he doesn’t play until the Florida game on Oct. 29 in Jacksonville.

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter is out for Auburn after injury